Thursday, July 05, 2007

Raymond R. Buchan dies 'of wounds sustained from enemy small arms fire'

Army Sgt. 1st Class Raymond R. Buchan, 33, a 1991 graduate of Westmont Hilltop High School, died of wounds sustained from enemy small arms fire, the Department of Defense said.

Another soldier, Staff Sgt. Michael L. Ruoff Jr., 31, of Yosemite, Calif., also was killed Sunday in Ta’meem, the defense department said.

Philip Buchan of Southmont said other military personnel described his brother as, “The best of the best.”

He said his brother, a standout football and basketball player for Westmont Hilltop, joined the Army after graduating from high school.

“He loved his family tremendously,” Philip Buchan said, adding that his brother was a good father, husband, brother and son.

A funeral service will be scheduled in Johnstown. He will be laid to rest in his wife’s hometown of Erie.

Philip Buchan said his brother, who along with his family resided in Schweinfurt, Germany, where he was stationed the past seven years, loved his country.

“He loved his work,” Philip Buchan said. “He wanted to be there for his troops. That’s what he truly loved.”

He said his sibling exemplified humility and had a genuine concern for the safety of everyone under his command.

“His troops are really taken by his loss,” the brother said.

He will be surely missed by everyone who knew him, Philip Buchan said.

He said his brother, a defensive end for Westmont Hilltop, played in the Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star Football Game in the summer of ’91. He said his brother also was an excellent basketball player at the school.

“Everything that he did, he was excellent at,” he said.

Sgt. 1st Class Buchan also is survived by his wife Laura; two sons, Hayden, 8, and Andrew, 1; and parents Richard and Carol Jean Buchan, of Southmont.

Sgt. 1st Class Buchan is the eighth local soldier to have been killed in Iraq.

From the Tribune Democrat