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Army Sgt. 1st Class Ronald W. Sawyer

Died August 25, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

38, of Trenton, Mo.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.; died Aug. 25 in Sha Wali Kot, Afghanistan of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device. Also killed were Capt. John L. Hallett III, Capt. Cory J. Jenkins and Pfc. Dennis M. Williams.

Sgt. remembered as practical joker

The Associated Press

In his younger years, Ronald W. Sawyer was the Dan Aykroyd of his family, or maybe the John Belushi.

“Ron was a prankster and a joker,” said his mother, Judy Thompson. “He and his brother used to impersonate the Blues Brothers in talent shows.”

Sawyer, 38, of Trenton, Mo., was killed Aug. 25 in southern Afghanistan when his vehicle hit a roadside bomb. He was assigned to Fort Lewis, Wash.

“Whenever he came home from overseas he’d bring home presents,” his mother said. “One time he brought back a framed piece of barbed wire that had separated North and South Korea for his uncle who had served in the Korean War.”

On one break, Sawyer — in his fatigues — went to his niece’s elementary school to share lunch with her class.

The graduate of Grundy R-5 High School in Galt served as a military recruiter and a medic. He also loved baseball and had pitched for American Legion teams.

“Just before he left for Afghanistan he called me,” Thompson said. “His last words to me were, ‘I love you Mom. Be safe.’ ”

Sawyer is also survived by his wife, Sarah; their 2-year-old son, Daniel; his father and his stepfather; and two brothers and a sister.

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