Local News

Family Flies Flags at Half-Staff to Remember Soldier

Posted March 8, 2007 7:39 p.m. EST
Updated March 8, 2007 7:42 p.m. EST

— 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.”