Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Two Ft Lewis Army Rangers killed in Iraq on 6th deployment

Two Army Rangers killed in Iraq | TheNewsTribune.com | Tacoma, WA

MICHAEL GILBERT; The News Tribune
Published: March 22nd, 2006 01:00 AM
Two U.S. Army Rangers from Fort Lewis were killed last weekend in fighting in Ramadi, Iraq, the Defense Department said Tuesday.

The Pentagon identified the soldiers as Staff Sgt. Ricardo Barraza, 24, of Shafter, Calif.; and Sgt. Dale G. Brehm, 23, of Turlock, Calif.

The two were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Lewis and were serving on their sixth trip into Iraq or Afghanistan with the elite infantry unit, according to a news release by the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

A Pentagon news release said the two men were killed Saturday when they came under small arms fire in Ramadi, west of Baghdad in Anbar Province. The Special Operations Command release said Brehm died Sunday. Officials could not be reached Tuesday evening to explain the discrepancy.

Neither the Pentagon nor the Special Operations Command released additional details about how the men died.

Barraza’s family told The Bakersfield Californian newspaper that he was shot in the chest while evacuating a building.

“He always thought of the rest of the people, not to have glory, but for everyone,” his mother, Nina, told The Bakersfield Californian on Monday. “He respected that uniform.”

Barraza joined the Army out of high school in 1999 and arrived at Fort Lewis to join the Ranger battalion in 2000.

He is survived by his parents and two sisters in California, another sister and a brother in Sunnyside, Yakima County, and his fiance, who lives in Yakima, the military said.

Brehm joined the Army in early 2001 and arrived at Fort Lewis with the Rangers in October of that year. He is survived by his parents in California and his wife, Raini, of Steilacoom.

The Fort Lewis-based battalion is one of three Ranger battalions across the Army, and has been deployed extensively for special operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Army in most cases releases little information about their operations.

The battalion has been deployed at least three times to Afghanistan and at least three times to Iraq.

Barraza and Brehm are the second and third Rangers from 2nd Battalion to be killed in Iraq. Pfc. Nathan Stahl of Highland, Ind., was killed there Sept. 21, 2004, when an improvised bomb detonated nearby.

Two other Fort Lewis Rangers – former NFL star Cpl. Pat Tillman and Sgt. Jay Blessing of Tacoma – were killed in Afghanistan.

They are among 82 Fort Lewis-based service members to be killed since the onset of the war on terrorism in October 2001.

Michael Gilbert: 253-597-8921

mike.gilbert@thenewstribune.com

1 comment:

Josh Howell said...

As a friend of both the deceased, I wish I could find the words to communicate the disdain and dissapointment I feel for the way this page taints the death of two good men with hints of a coverup. The "discrepancy" usually stems from the fact the things are happening in a 24 time-zone world, and whether the form is filled out there, or here, can be different. I'm sure if you went to the DMV, and asked them what date you got your licence, they could choose the date you applied, the date they recorded it in the database, or the date they mailed it. Stick to commenting on things you understand, and know something about.

The amazing thing about soldiers is that they subborn their will to that of their country. I served in Iraq with these men even though I didn't agree with the war, because I know other less capable people would have to go in my place if I didn't. Abu Grhaib and My Lai is what happens when good people don't serve, less qualified people go in their place. By the same token, I would have gone to Indonesia and handed out water, or gone to berkely and planted flowers if told to do so, but the American public never understands that.

These were good men, who as the article stated "respected that uniform." Be grateful for the fact they were willing to die in your place, and let your gratitude be evident in your writing, or at least be silent.

President George W. Bush's statement in March 2006 after 3 yrs of war "a future President will have to resolve war in Iraq"


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