Thursday, July 05, 2007

Michael L. Ruoff Jr. dies 'of wounds sustained from enemy small arms fire'

A soldier who grew up in the Yosemite area has been killed in Iraq, the Defense Department announced today.

Staff Sgt. Michael Lee Ruoff Jr., 31, was one of two soldiers killed in Ta'meem, Iraq, when their unit came under fire by insurgents. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Schweinfurt, Germany. Also killed was Sgt. 1st Class Raymond R. Buchan, 33, of Johnston, Pa.

The 18th Infantry has been in Ta'meem, located near Ramadi, since last year. It is considered one of the toughest parts of Iraq -- an area where American forces have been struggling with insurgents since 2003.

An 18-year-old Ruoff joined the Army almost exactly 13 years ago on July 6, 1994. He was stationed for a time at Fort Carson, Colo. His family also lives in Colorado.

From the San Francisco Chronicle