Local News

Fort Bragg Soldier from Nash County Killed in Iraq

Posted March 7, 2007

— A Fort Bragg soldier killed in Iraq this week was from Nash County.

The family of Ryan Russell, 20, was a medic with the 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infanry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team based at Fort Bragg.

Russell grew up in Nash County, and his family currently lives in Ayden.

The military confirmed Tuesday that five other Fort Bragg soldiers were killed in a bombing in the Salahuddin province.

The troops were patrolling near Samarra, a Sunni stronghold, north of Baghdad, when the bomb went off, officials said.

Three other soldiers in the unit were injured the explosion and didn't return to duty, including Pfc. Christopher Ess, of Dunn. He was hit by shrapnel in his right arm and ruptured his eardrum.

The attack was the single largest loss of life in the past three years for the Fort Bragg-based division, division spokesman Maj. Tom Earnhardt said. Fourteen soldiers in the 82nd Airborne have died this year in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The division of about 17,000 soldiers has some 8,300 paratroopers in Iraq and about 6,100 on duty in Afghanistan. Another brigade is scheduled to deploy to Iraq this summer.


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  • chatterbox_lmw Mar 9, 2007

    I, too, have know Kathy and the family for about 14 years. This is an awesome family and they have paid the ultimate sacrifice for all of us. Ryan was a typical BOY and did what boys do. I haven't spoken with anyone who doesn't have a great Ryan story. This person is not just a number or statistic he is a much loved son and friend. I know the family covets your prayers and support!!! LOVE YOU RYAN!!

  • ladygc1 Mar 8, 2007

    just my2cents I completely agree..... I have known Ryan's family for about 15 yrs and I thank God that his family, friends and I know without a shadow of a doubt, he did know God and he IS in Heaven. WE will see him again!!

  • asheds07 Mar 8, 2007

    I went to high school with Ryan he was a GREAT friend. He always knew what to do to cheer you up, there was NEVER a dull moment when you were around him. I am so proud of the man that he became and I will miss him dearly. As to CHRONIC about your little comment stating that he should have gone to college!! He chose to go into the military to fight for your right to attend such luxuries as colleges.....remember that and remember that he died for that and many other luxuries that we take for granted everyday!!!!!

  • just my2cents Mar 8, 2007


    Here'a better article.

  • just my2cents Mar 8, 2007

    Well said Barbwh. As a military mom, that means alot to me too. The ignorant comments being made here are by ignorant people who SHOULD realize this is a place to offer thanks and condolances to the family. If you want to rant about the war, gov't etc, go to the proper place. God bless this family and I pray this soldier knew Jesus so they find find peace in knowing he is with The Lord. Thank you Ryan, Godspeed.

  • andreawesco Mar 8, 2007

    I think Barbwh said all that was needed to be said and I agree 100%. God bless you and your family and thanks for all that you did. Having experienced this first hand on June 24, 2004 when we lost my brother in law KIA in Baquoba Iraq Capt. Christopher Scott Cash, my heart goes out to your family!!

  • ivysmama Mar 8, 2007

    I just want to say how truely sorry I am. I went to school with Ryan when he was trying to get his HSD or GED, I don't remember which program he was in. But he was trying to hurry and get it done so he could join the military, he was a very funny person and made us all laugh and enjoy school. My prayers are with his family and I hope they can hold their heads high through all of this. I wish Bush would just bring all of our friends and loved ones home!

  • Crumps Br0ther Mar 8, 2007

    Thank you Ryan. Go easy bro.

  • lucky22 Mar 8, 2007

    God Bless the family. I pray for you and just want you to know that in this tragic time God is with you. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Barbwh Mar 8, 2007

    Thank you Ryan for your service, dedication, and bravery. You made the choice to enter the military, train and go to battle to defend innocent populations from evil. You even probably would laugh at the disrepectful and ignorant comments made here by cowards who could never, or would never attempt to do what you did in your shortlife.You worked to create a healtier and safer environment for the children of Iraq. The Iraqi Army and Police are stronger and better trained due to your work there. The people of Iraq are writing their own government, constituion and deciding on their future with courage. This is the mission of this generation of Americans who saw their country come under attack and said we will defend ourselves, our world, and defect tyranny. You brought joy to your family, friends, and fellow buddies. We will stand by your family and provide them with a shoulder to lean on, and will provide support to your battle buddies. Thank you for being part of this mission.