Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Army Spc. Ronald J. Tucker

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Ronald J. Tucker, 21, of Fountain, Colo.

Spc. Tucker was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died April 30, 2008 in Baghdad of wounds sustained when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. Also killed was Capt. Andrew R. Pearson.

Colorado Springs Gazette --A 21-year-old soldier from Fountain died in a Baghdad bombing, the Army announced today.

Spc. Ronald J. Tucker was on patrol with his unit from Fort Hood, Texas, on Wednesday when the vehicle he was riding in was hit by a roadside bomb.

Another soldier in the vehicle, Capt. Andrew R. Pearson, 32, of Billings, Mont., also died in the bombing, the Army said.

Both men were assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, which started operations in Iraq last month.

Tucker, a 2005 graduate of Fountain-Fort Carson High School, joined the Army in 2005 and was trained to be a mortarman. He was assigned to Fort Hood in August 2006 and went to the Middle East earlier this year.

"Ronnie had a passion to be successful," said Fountain-Fort Carson dean of students Mitch Johnson, who had known Tucker since he was a first-grader. "He was a hard-working student."

Johnson said Tucker was the kind of kid most school administrators don't notice, because he worked so hard and kept his nose clean.

But Ronnie stood out for the right reasons, including his sense of humor.

"If there was a good practical joke to be played, you could count on Ronnie having that grin on his face," Johnson said.

Johnson said it was no surprise that Tucker joined the Army after high school.

"He was a young man who had been around the military influence here the whole time he was in school."

Tucker is the third Fountain-Fort Carson graduate to die in Iraq.

Johnson said Tucker, the 58th Colorado native killed in the Iraq war, is survived by his mother and two sisters.

Tucker's death came as fighting rages in Baghdad between Shiite militiamen loyal to cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and Army forces. This week, Fort Carson's 3rd Brigade Combat team suffered six wounded soldiers during a four-hour firefight in Baghdad's Shiite slum, Sadr City.

Fighting continued today with several attacks on the Fort Carson soldiers while they built barriers to close off Sadr City. Just before 6 p.m. soldiers from Fort Carson's 1st Battalion, 68th Armored Regiment were ambushed with rifle fire from a building in Sadr City.

A news release from the Army's Baghdad headquarters said the soldiers called in air support and the building was destroyed by a pair of Hellfire missiles.

Army Spc. Ronald J. Tucker was killed in action on 4/30/08.

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