KEIZER, OR, USA U.S. Army PFC, COMPANY C, 1ST BATTALION, 26TH INFANTRY, 2 BCT, (1 CD), WURZBURG, GERMANY FOB APACHE, IRAQ 01/20/2007
A 20-year-old soldier from Keizer died Saturday in Iraq, one of two Oregonians to perish in a spate of violence that broke out over the weekend in the war-torn nation.
Army Private First Class Ryan J. Hill was killed when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee in Baghdad. Hill, who attended McNary High School, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, based in Schweinfurt, Germany, according to a U.S. Department of Defense announcement Tuesday.
His mother, Shawna L. Hill, was too broken up to speak about her son’s death, according to a family friend who gave his name only as “Scooter.” He provided no other details about Ryan Hill.
Hill was on his first tour in Iraq when he was killed. He is the 78th military member with strong ties to Oregon or Southwest Washington to be killed in Iraq.
On Hill’s account at MySpace, an online social networking Web site used mostly by young people, the soldier wrote almost exclusively about his family life and friends.
According to his page, he grew up with his mother and sister and attended McNary High. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life, so he joined the Army. His My Space page gave a sense of this fine young man. He loved his mother and expressed his tribute to her repeatedly. “Heroes – my mom she did a great job with her “lil hellion yep thats me.” He lists God “without him nothing would be possible.” He loved his friends and his fellow soldiers – “my fellow outlaws thanks for getting my back.” He has posted several tributes to soldiers in general and by name. He had a great sense of humor. He loved music.
Ryan sent an email to his friends and family on October 13, 2006. “I know that you all are in the right place this weekend. I miss you guys so much, I love being around you all, it makes the world seem like a better place. I wish I could be there but as you know I’m in Baghdad, Iraq right now, as you read this myself and fellow blue spaders of Charlie company 1/26 infantry are protecting and serving our nation and keeping the freedom that every American has. We all would like to say thank you for supporting the troops, without you guys it would make our jobs a lot harder, so I want to say thanks for all the prayers and support. If I have learned one thing well lets face it I have learned a lot but this is what I have to say.-.you never know how much time on Gods great planet that you really do have. So don’t waste time, if you want something you have to seize the moment. I have learned that these people don’t have much but they take pride in what they do have. I never thought that little children would play in the streets filled with trash. The world without people like you is a scary place but with Gods help we will make it out of this crazy place. Well I just wanted to say you all are the best. Take care of yourself’s. Task force blue spaders salute you all, keep up the good work.”