Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Wednesday Hero

Staff Sgt. David G. Ries
Staff Sgt. David G. Ries
United States Marine Corps.
29 years old from Clark, Washington
6th Engineer Support Battalion, 4th Force Service Support Group, Marine Corps Reserve
November 08, 2004

Staff Sgt. David Ries, who was on his second tour of duty, was killed when the vehicle he was in struck an improvised explosive device. Marine officials said that Ries had been part of a convoy traveling west of Fallujah, an insurgent stronghold that was under siege by U.S. forces.

Ries was an electrician with the 6th Engineer Support Battalion at the Marine Corp Reserve Center in Portland, Ore. The unit is attached to the 1st Force Service Support Group based at Camp Pendelton, Calif. Ries provided mobile power and water services to Marines in the field, Lt. Col. Pete Ramey said.

Ries had been with the Marine Corps for at least 10 years. He came home earlier in the year from a six-month deployment in Iraq and volunteered for another six-month mission.

Friends said they weren't surprised when Ries offered to return to Iraq.

"He believes in what this country stands for and the general purpose that we're there ... to give other people a shot of making their own choices," said Brent Loper, a childhood buddy who ran cross-country track with Ries at Evergreen High School in Vancouver.

Loper said he learned of his friend's death after military officials visited Ries' wife, Mandy, at the couple's Vancouver home. In addition to his wife, Ries left a 2-year-old daughter, Cameron, and a 4-year-old son, Bailey.

Loper said he'd known Ries for roughly 15 years, "since junior high school," and described him as a loving person, "very dedicated and very honorable."

"He'll go out of his way to help you," he said. Ries was interested in law enforcement, Loper said, and worked as a security officer for the airport and a shopping center in Vancouver, and part time at a gun range across the river in Portland. He'd talked of getting a job with the Washington state Department of Corrections or the Portland Police Department.

Ries never complained about his Iraq experience, Loper said. "He just said, 'I have my job to do and I'm going to do it.'"

Loper said he'd asked Ries about his time in Iraq, but never pushed him for details.

"He just said he made it through OK. I figured at one point he would be up to talking about it," Loper said. "I never expected not to have another chance to talk to him."

These brave men and women have given their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

If you have a loved who has served or is currently serving in the armed forces, and would like for me to profile them as a Wednesday Hero, I would be proud to. Just email me with some info and a photo.
We Have Every Right To Dream Heroic Dreams.
Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

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