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Army Cpl. Ryan C. McGhee

Died May 13, 2009 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

21, of Fredericksburg, Va.; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga.; died May 13 from wounds sustained when his unit came in contact with enemy forces while conducting combat operations in Balad.

McGhee made impact on classmates, friends

The Associated Press

Ryan C. McGhee, who was born in Pennsylvania, lived the majority of his life in Vermont. He was on his fourth tour of duty — his first three were in Afghanistan and his latest was in Iraq.

“I lost my soul mate. I don’t know what else to say. He was my one and only, so it’s been difficult for all of us,” said Ashleigh Mitchell, his fiancée.

McGhee, 21, of Fredericksburg, Va., died May 13 of wounds suffered during a firefight with enemy forces in central Iraq. He was a 2006 high school graduate and was assigned to Fort Benning, Ga.

“He was an all-around great person and he loved what he did,” said McGhee’s brother, Zachary. “I talked to him two weeks ago. He called to wish me a happy birthday. He said he loved me and he missed me.”

He was chosen by his classmates for two senior superlatives — friendliest and most charming.

“He always had a lot of friends,” classmate Tim Putnam said.

He had planned on returning to Vermont this year, to introduce his Virginian fiancée to his childhood friends.

He also is survived by his father, Steven; stepmother, Kristie; and his mother, Sherrie Battle-McGhee.

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