FREDERICKSBURG, VA, US
CPL, CO D, 3RD BN, 75TH RANGER REGIMENT, FORT BENNING, GA
05/13/2009, BALAD, IRAQ
Corporal Ryan McGhee was an Army Ranger assigned to the 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, based in Fort Benning, Georgia. He had already served three tours in Afghanistan, prior to his first tour in Iraq. He was killed during combat operations as he and his unit members hunted down a weapons provider and a suicide-bombing cell. He was killed May 13, 2009. He was twenty-one years old.
Ryan was from Fredericksburg, Virginia. He graduated from Massaponax High School in 2006, McGhee, a 2006 Massaponax High school graduate, is the son of Steven and Kristie McGhee of Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Sherrie Battle-McGhee of Knoxville, Tenn. He was engaged to be married to a fellow Massaponax High School graduate next year. Ryan’s older brother Zachary notes that Ryan was an all-around great person and he loved what he did. The brothers had talked just several weeks prior on Zachary’s birthday.
Zachary McGhee, of Stafford County, Virginia is a sergeant in the Army National Guard in Fredericksburg, said his brother had been interested in the military early on and decided in his senior year in high school to become a Ranger and wanted to serve his country and give something back.
The Massaponx High school Principal and others learned about Ryan McGhee’s death while attending a Massaponax soccer game. In August 2006, after graduating from high school, Ryan enlisted in the Army. He completed basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., as an infantryman. Then after graduating from the Basic Airborne Course there, he was assigned to the Ranger Indoctrination Program, also at Fort Benning. After graduation, he graduated from the Ranger Indoctrination Program in February 2007 and was then assigned to Company B, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment in March 2007. He served as a rifleman and grenadier before serving as a weapons squad team leader with Company D.
His awards and decorations include Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal With Combat Star, Iraq Campaign Medal With Combat Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge and the Ranger Tab.
Ryan McGhee’s warm personality and sunny smile quietly touched many during his life including the Illinois family of a fellow soldier for whom he served as pall bearer. He is remembered by his roommate and Ranger buddy and those who went straight through the training with him remembering good times and things shared along the way. High school contacts recall Ryan as a most genuine person, and remember his ear to ear smile and the kind words he spoke to everyone. They remember his cheerful laugh and the jokes he shared. He was a strong Ranger, and Ryan was one of those leaders in “Rangers Lead The Way.”