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Army Capt. Richard G. Cliff Jr.

Died September 29, 2008 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

29, of Mount Pleasant, S.C.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died Sept. 29 in Yakhchal, Afghanistan, from wounds sustained when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device during mounted operations. Also killed were Sgt. 1st Class Jamie S. Nicholas and Sgt. 1st Class Gary J. Vasquez.

Army Capt. Richard G. Cliff Jr. remembered

The Associated Press

Richard G. Cliff Jr. spent as much time in the water as a dolphin, swimming and surfing with his brother. The two boys, born only 16 months apart, had a special bond.

“It was just him and me,” Eddie recalled. “He was my big brother, and I looked up to him.”

Cliff, 29, of Mount Pleasant, S.C., was killed Sept. 29 in an explosion in Yakhchal. He was a 2002 graduate of Appalachian State University and was assigned to Fort Bragg.

He wrestled in high school and college and did two tours in Iraq. Before his 2006 deployment ended, Cliff was called home and invited to take the Special Forces Qualification Course.

Cliff was so serious about his duty that he spent his time in Charleston at the family’s house on Folly, running up and down the beach with a 70-pound rucksack on to get ready for his training. He earned the Green Beret in July.

Cliff had come home for the Sept. 4 birth of his son and returned to Afghanistan a week later. “He was about as happy as I’d ever seen him,” said Eddie Cliff. “He was a very proud father.”

Cliff also is survived by his wife, Stacy, and son, Richard.

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