Let the memory of Cpl Ryan be with us forever
  • 20 years old
  • Born on June 11, 1986 .
  • Passed away on March 5, 2007 .

Cpl. Ryan D. Russell, 20, died Monday, March 5, 2007 while serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq. Cpl. Russell graduated from Southern Nash Senior High School in 2004. He entered the U.S. Army in October 2004 as Combat Medic. He received AIT Training in Fort Hood, Texas with the 1st Calvary Division. He was deployed to Iraq in October 2006. He re-enlisted on Jan. 13, 2007 for five years. After his present tour in Iraq, he would have been assigned to Walter Reed Medical Center. He was also the recipient of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He is survived by his mother and stepfather, Kathy F. Moore and Thomas E. Moore of Ayden; a brother, Robert Nelson Russell Jr. and wife, Ronni, of Germany; a sister, Jennifer D. Russell of Nashville; maternal grandparents, Walter Furr and Minnie L. Furr of Albemarle; paternal grandmother, Claudine Russell of Norwood; paternal step-grandmother, Edna C. Moore of Ayden; nieces and nephews, Cody, Eli, Jonathan, Kaylyn and Marc.

 I was asked to tell Ryan’s story. The first thing I thought was
which story. Because with Ryan there and lots of stories.

I guess the one story that I would like to tell is how Ryan left home
a boy and became a man.

As a teenage Ryan was just your normal laid back kid. The hardest
thing he ever did was change the remote. So image my surprise when I
came home one day and Ryan told me that he was going to join the

Ryan left for Basic Training in October of 2004. After completing
Basic Training, Ryan came home for Christmas. The fist thing that Tom
and I noticed was the fact that if looked like he was 6 inches taller
than when he left. Truth was he was just standing proud. After the
Christmas break Ryan left for Fort Sam Houston in San Antonia., TX
where he would complete his ATI training to be a combat medic.
 Ryan and combat medic should not be in the same sentence. As a child Ryan, could not stand the sight of blood and
needles. I guess that is because as a boy in Royal Ranges he made his
shared or trips to the ER. After five months of training, we went to TX so see his graduation. I
could tell that this not the same boy who was labeled class clown when
he was in high school. 

He was then assigned to the 1st Calvary division at Ft. Hood Texas. It
would be from there that he would be deployed to Iraq in October 2006.
Before his deployment we went to Texas to see him. I ask him about
going to Iraq. His words to me were, “Mom this is what I am trained

I was thankful for modern technology in the fact that Ryan sent email
almost everyday. In February, Ryan told us that he was going to be out
in the field and may not be able to send emails. I think that was the
longest three weeks ever. You worry when you do not hear but then you
also know that no news in good news.

The next time we heard from Ryan was an email with a re-enlistment
picture attached. He had decided to re-enlist. He had told us that his
next duty station would be Walter Reed Medical Center. We knew then
that he was taking what he was doing very serious.

Then on March 5, 2007, Ryan was killed by a roadside bomb. There are
not words to describe the feeling I had that day when two soldiers in
Class A uniforms come to the door. I knew before they said anything
what they had come to say. It was not until after the service that we really learned what kind of
soldier Ryan was. Ryan’s commanding officer who was home on leave
had been notified about Ryan’s death and attended his service. LTC
Morris Goins give us insight to the type of medic Ryan was. He told
several stories of how Ryan did his job. The one I remember the most
is the one about a little Iraqi girl that had been hit by sniper fire.
As he worked trying to save this little girl he knew that without
taking her back to base she may not make it. He pleaded with is
commander to let him take for more medical help but with out the
permission of her parents he could only provide so much care for her.
We learned that she did not make it. It is with stories like this that we know just what kind of man Ryan had become and how he was respected by his fellow soldiers. Even though we missed Ryan everyday we know that he was doing what he
wanted to do and that helps us get through each day.

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