Thursday, July 23, 2009

Marine Sgt. Ryan H. Lane

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Sgt. Ryan H. Lane, 25, of Pittsburgh

Sgt. Lane was assigned to the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died July 23, 2009 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained while supporting combat operations. Also killed were Lance Cpl. Jeremy S. Lasher and Cpl. Nicholas G. Xiarhos.

Post Gazette -- Two U.S. military personnel with roots in Western Pennsylvania were killed in Afghanistan this week, contributing to the deadliest month for American forces in the region.

U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Ryan Lane, 25, the son of former Castle Shannon police Chief Harold Lane, died in combat yesterday, according to family friends.

Sgt. Lane arrived in Afghanistan this summer after serving at least one other tour in the country. His unit had lost several Marines in recent weeks, said Shirley McMonagle, police secretary for Castle Shannon and a close friend of the Lane family.

"He's my hero," Mrs. McMonagle said of Sgt. Lane. "He always wanted to be a Marine. He just wanted to serve his country."

Sgt. Lane, the youngest of four brothers and a graduate of Keystone Oaks High School, was an avid baseball fan and played the sport throughout his childhood. He was outgoing and friendly, Mrs. McMonagle said.

"He was a sweetheart," said Sarah Coffey, Mrs. McMonagle's granddaughter.

Sgt. Lane joined the Marines in 2002. Three years later, he saw heavy combat in Afghanistan's Khost province, according to a military report posted on the Castle Shannon Web site at the time.

He was reluctant to talk about his experiences there, Mrs. McMonagle said.

Sgt. Lane married his wife, Valerie, about two years ago. They lived at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

This year, Defense Secretary Robert Gates observed Sgt. Lane's Marine unit, Delta Company, 2nd Light Armored Recon Battalion, as it prepared to go overseas.

"I am honored he took time out of his day to watch us do this," Sgt. Lane told an Associated Press reporter. "We train like we fight -- 24/7."

Sgt. Lane's father served as Castle Shannon's police chief for 17 years, retiring in June to become an investigator for the Allegheny County district attorney's office.

"It's a terrible blow," Castle Shannon Mayor Donald Baumgarten said yesterday. "Our hearts go out to the family."

Marine Sgt. Ryan H. Lane was killed in action on 7/23/09.

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