Monday, July 09, 2007

Michelle R. Ring dies 'of wounds sustained from enemy mortar fire'

A former Chugiak High School student has been killed in Iraq.

The family of Army Specialist Michelle Ring, 26, said the former Alaskan was killed July 5.

Ring was based out of Fort Benning in Georgia and was known as Michelle Stearns in the late ‘90s when she went to school in Alaska.

The family said a mortar hit while Ring was on guard at Camp Liberty and that she died instantly.

Her older sister, Marilyn Haybeck, said Ring considered Alaska her home and had hopes of one day returning.

"She loved doing her job; she didn't want to get out of the Army. She was going to make a career out of it. She was very loving and she had a lot of friends and two loving boys," Haybeck said.

This evening her family are mourning her loss and commending her bravery for enlisting during a time of war.

Ring left Alaska in 1999 after her then-boyfriend and the father of her 7-year-old-son was killed during a fight.

Marc Hopfenspirger, 21, was a soldier stationed at Fort Richardson. His accused murderer was arrested last summer and is awaiting trial here in Anchorage.

Ring leaves behind her 5 and 7-year-old-boys, two sisters and her parents.

From KTUU 2