VANCOUVER, WA, USA U.S. Marines SSGT, H&S CO, 6TH ESB, (CSSB-1, CSSG-11, 1ST FSSG), 4TH FSSG, PORTLAND, OR WEST OF FALLUJAH, IRAQ 11/08/2004
A Marine reservist from Vancouver, Wash., who volunteered for a second tour of duty has been killed in a roadside bomb attack in Iraq.
Staff Sergeant David Ries, 29, died Monday when the vehicle he was in struck an improvised explosive device. Marine officials said Tuesday that Ries had been part of a convoy traveling west of Fallujah, an insurgent stronghold that is 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 Tuesday.
Ries had been with the Marine Corps for at least 10 years. He came home earlier this year from a six-month deployment in Iraq and volunteered for another six-month mission, deploying in August or September, Ramey said.
Friends said Tuesday 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 Monday night. In addition to his wife, Ries left a 2-year-old daughter, Cameron, and a 4-year-old son, Bailey.
“Right now she’s still trying to deal with the news,” Loper said.
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.”