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Family Flies Flags at Half-Staff to Remember Soldier

Posted March 8, 2007

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— Two flags fly at half-staff in front of Cathy Moore’s Ayden home in honor of her son who sacrificed everything.

Twenty-year-old Ryan Russell, a medic with the First Calvary Third Brigade, died in Iraq this week when a bomb exploded near his unit. He was helping six members of the 82nd Airborne.

Moore said her son grew up in Nash County and signed up for the Army even before he graduated from high school. He went for his first tour in Iraq last October.

Russell was supposed to come home on a break this month. He was already ordering and sending clothes home for that trip.

“Yesterday there was a package delivered... It was a pair of tennis shoes,” Moore said. “I mean, he was looking forward to coming home.”

Not far from her home, volunteers boxed up care packages in a Greenville warehouse to send to troops in Iraq.

"Give 2 The Troops" sends hundreds of packages every month. They recently sent one to Russell, and his mother visits the group regularly.

Diane Craig, with “Give 2 The Troops,” said her group is inspired by a mural painted on the warehouse. It is covered with stars – one star for each military man and woman killed in Iraq.

They’ve haven’t added one for Russell yet.

“But there will be a special star, just like all the rest of them are special to us,” Craig said.

Russell’s sacrifice is just as meaningful to his mother.

“We couldn't be any more prouder of Ryan,” Moore said. “We're going to miss him.”

42 Comments

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  • jbranstetter Mar 19, 2007

    Ryan was promoted just before he was killed from SPC to Corpral (CPL.). When you see his name with the SPC please know that he was promoted. CPL. Ryan Russell. He was also studying medicine through the military and had plans of going into medicine. As for the comment about him going to college - he was getting his education. Ryan was brave(and a little wild:). He was created to be a soldier and a great one he was! We'll never forget him Kathy. We loved him and we love you and Tom. You church family is here for you! Kathy is a women of unbelievable strength and courage! She buried two husbands and has now buried her youngest son. She raised her two boys and one daughter for most of their young life as a single mother. Kathy is why her her son was who he was and we thank you for it Kathy!

  • jbranstetter Mar 19, 2007

    It is better to exist one day living out what you believe and doing what you were created for than to live 100 years and do nothing but stand back and criticize those who have! His death was not senseless - it had more meaning than you can ever know. It takes intelligence and discernment to understand sacrifices like his. May God bless the people of this country with those two gifts so they will know the depth of the content of their words.

  • byvarga Mar 15, 2007

    May God walk with you through this time of suffering. I correspond with another soldier in your son's unit. Please know that my prayers and thoughts are with all of you at this time. I live in Connecticut, but was born and raised in the Dover-Fort Barnwell area. When I learned that your son was from NC, I just felt the need to let you know how grateful I am for all the troops protecting our freedom. I wish I had the words to help ease the some of the pain you are going through. Thank you and all of Ryan's family and most of all Ryan for the sacrifice he made. Be well. Be safe. Barbara

  • jennifersykesglover Mar 11, 2007

    As a "friend of a friend" of Ryan's, I know how deeply his sacrifice was felt by the people in his life. Those of you who are so thoughtless and heartless that choose to comment negatively about Ryan's sacrifice...you should be thankful that because of brave men and women like him, you are able to say what you want in a forum like this and other forums... in other countries, you could be considered a traitor for saying 'unpatriotic' things and be put to death in the streets.
    Thank God that America is still the land of the free and the home of the brave. We, as parents and Americans, should strive to continue to raise young men and women who are not afraid to stand up for human rights and fight for our freedoms that SOME of us take for granted.
    What you said is hurtful, but you do have the right to say what you feel, since this is AMERICA and our soldiers provide that right to you.
    Personally, I send out my prayers and thanks to Ryan's friends and family. God Bless!!!

  • the pied piper Mar 9, 2007

    Lissa13082, I'm grateful to your ex-husband and everyone else in the military. Even though some fight on foreign soil, we Americans, support all of them in our thought and prayers. I thank them everyday for my freedom. This is coming from someone who's dad was Navy, and whose brother is Army. USA ROCKS!

  • highergame4me Mar 9, 2007

    Bless His Heart, this is sooo sad for everyone. Like I have said in earlier posts, put the murderers on the front line, not our innocent kids. God Bless the ones that do...

  • Lissa13082 Mar 9, 2007

    I agree Mookers - most of them don't want us there and need to help themselves. We've done all we can over there, now lives are just being lost and it's senseless. My ex-husband served over there, it turns lives upside down for those who get killed and even those who don't. Their lives and the lives of their family members will never be the same again.

  • djn2005 Mar 9, 2007

    I personally knew Ryan from high school. We were really good friends. He was an amazing guy. He always knew exactly what to say to bring a smile to your face. He will never realize how much he meant to all his friends. I want his family to know they are in my prayers. Ryan will be missed greatly!!

  • Warden Mar 9, 2007

    Blessings to the family of this amazing young hero. Thank you, Ryan, for all that you have done. May we never take our freedom in vain.

  • investagator7 Mar 9, 2007

    I WANT TO SAY I AM SORRY FOR THE LOST OF YOUR LOVE ONE AND KNOW ONE CAN BRING HIM BACK BUT WE CAN REMEBER THE LOVING TIMES YOU HAD WITH HIM MY BROTHER IS OVER THERE AND I KNOW IT IS HARD FOR A FAMILY TO DEAL WITH DEATH KNOCKING AT YOUR DOOR MY PRAYER AND LOVE

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