Friday, March 09, 2007

Ryan M. Bell dies of injuries from I.E.D.

SPOKANE -- An 82nd Airborne paratrooper from Colville was killed in action when his patrol came under enemy fire in Samarra, Iraq.

Specialist Ryan Bell, 21, was a rifleman with the 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division. He and five of his fellow soldiers were killed when insurgents detonated a bomb near their patrol in Samarra.

The five other members of his patrol that were killed include Staff Sergeant Justin Estes, 26, of Sims, Ark., Pfc. Cory Kosters, 19, of The Woodlands, Texas, Sergeant Andrew C. Perkins, 27, of Northglenn, Colo., Specialist Justin Rollins, 22, of Newport, N.H. and Staff Sergeant Robert Stanley, 27, of Spotsylvania, Va.

It was the single deadliest day for the 82nd Airborne in Iraq.

The Fayetteville Observer reports that the paratroopers were conducting a mounted combat patrol when one of their Humvees hit a roadside bomb. That blast killed the four soldiers inside the vehicle instantly. According to KRQE in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Sergeant Andrew Perkins was one of two soldiers killed by a second bomb that detonated as he moved forward to help the soldiers in the first Humvee that had been hit.

"It was a tremendous honor to serve alongside Specialist Bell," Capt. Eugene Farris, Commander of C Company, 2nd Bn., 505th PIR said in a press statement. "On a daily basis he displayed courage, honor and selfless service, in the struggle to keep America safe and improve the nation of Iraq."

Bell joined the Army in May of 2004 and after basic training he completed Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia before reporting for duty with the 82nd Airborne in January of 2005.

According to the public affairs office for the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC, Bell's personal awards included the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Combat Infantryman's Badge and the Parachutist's Badge.

A memorial service will be held by his unit in Iraq while funeral plans back home in the United States have not been finalized yet.

From KXLY 4