Local News

Fort Bragg Soldier from Nash County Killed in Iraq

Posted March 7, 2007 3:41 p.m. EST
Updated March 7, 2007 6:59 p.m. EST

— 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.