DOD identifies two 1st AD soldiers killed in Iraq
June 22, 2006
The Department of Defense has identified two 1st Armored Division soldiers killed Saturday in Iraq.
Sgt. Reyes Ramirez, 23, of Willis, Texas, and Spc. Robert L. Jones, 22, of Milwaukie, Ore., were killed during combat operations in the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi. Willis and Jones were assigned to the Baumholder, Germany-based 40th Engineer (Combat) Battalion. Both died instantly when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb during an ambush, according to media reports.
Ramirez’s mother, Maria Catalina Ramirez, told The Houston Chronicle that it was her son’s second Iraq rotation. The family was notified Sunday.
“I feel like my heart has been cut open,” Maria Ramirez was quoted as saying. “All I feel is pain.”
The day before the attack, Jones’ family received a brief letter, according to Oregon news reports. In the letter, Jones wrote that he couldn’t find a Father’s Day card in Iraq, but wanted to tell his father, Jerry Dowell, that he loved and missed him.
“I couldn’t ask for a better father than you,” he wrote. “I just want to say thank you.”
A memorial for Jones and Ramirez is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday at H.D. Smith Barracks in Baumholder, according to Bernd Mai, Baumholder public affairs spokesman.
They are the 13th and 14th 1st AD soldiers killed since January, when part of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team deployed to Kuwait, then to Baghdad.
Units from the 2nd BCT include 40th Engineers; 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment; 1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment; and 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery.
Units from the division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team including 1st Battalion, 37th Armored Regiment; 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment; and other units deployed to Tal Afar last January.
Last month, several units from Baumholder moved to Ramadi from Kuwait, where they’d been a reserve force.
Forces from the 1st AD and other units encircled the city, then moved observation posts forward toward the center of Ramadi, challenging insurgent forces that have held it for the past year.