Local News

Fort Bragg soldier, 45, dies in Afghanistan

Posted December 31, 2009 1:42 p.m. EST
Updated January 7, 2010 10:30 a.m. EST

— A 45-year-old Fort Bragg soldier with the 44th Medical Command was shot and killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday, according to a Fort Bragg spokeswoman.

Staff Sgt. Ronald Jay Spino, from Waterbury, Conn, was assigned to the 274th Forward Surgical Team (Airborne) as a licensed practical nurse. He was married and had one step-daughter.

He was shot while unloading medical supplies in Bala Morghab, a village in Badghis Province in northwestern Afghanistan. The shooting is under investigation, Fort Bragg officials said.

"Staff Sgt. Spino was a hardworking, diligent airborne combat medic," Col. Scott Putzier, chief of staff, 44th Medical Command, said in a statement. "For those who knew and worked with him, we will remember him as a dedication non-commissioned officer. He was quiet, so when he spoke, everyone listened and were often caught off guard by his sense of humor ... he was really funny."

Spino deployed with his unit to Iraq in February and was re-missioned to Afghanistan in November.

The 16-year veteran completed two tours of duty at Fort Bragg from 2003 to 2009, serving with the 28th Combat Support Hospital, 602nd Area Support Medical Company and the 274th FST.

His first tour was in 1997-98, where he served as a licensed practical nurse (training) at Womack Army Medical Center.

Spino earned several awards, including: the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and the Iraqi Campaign Medal.

He also has the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon and Overseas Service Ribbon. Spino also has six Airborne Qualified Parachutist Badges.