Thursday, February 15, 2007

Manuel A. Ruiz killed in helicopter crash

It's the phone call military parents don't ever want to get, the call saying their son or daughter has been killed in the line of duty. Last night, a Federalsburg family got that call. Today, they are full of sorrow, but also full of pride as they remember Manuel Ruiz.

Lisa Ruiz, the mother of Manuel Ruiz, says "he was proud of what he was doing. He was happy, he loved his job."

He was killed in a helicopter crash near Baghdad on Wednesday. He was a helicopter medic and was just beginning his second tour.

"He wasn't on the list to go back, but he made them put him on that list."

Manuel said goodbye to his Mom, Dad, and two brothers two weeks before.

Jacob Ruiz, one of the brothers, says "he misses us, loves us, and told us he'd see us one more time."

Manuel's family says he went back because he wanted to help people, and he knew he was making a difference.

Lisa adds "he said he'd rather work in the field than at the hospital, he was saving people."

Which was what he had plans to continue doing after his service. His family says he wanted to work with the state police, again, as a helicopter medic.

"He knew he was serving his country, we're proud of him."

No plans have been made for the funeral service yet, but the family has said that Manuel wanted to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, and he will be.

From WMDT 47