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Army Sgt. Monta S. Ruth

Died August 31, 2005 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

26, of Winston-Salem, N.C.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga.; killed Aug. 31 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his military vehicle during security patrol operations in Samarra, Iraq.

N.C. soldier remembered as outstanding ROTC cadet

Associated Press

Monta S. Ruth always wanted to be a soldier and joined the Junior ROTC while he was in the ninth grade. Even at home, “he was like the peacekeeper between everybody,” said his sister, Nakeia Ruth.

Ruth, 26, of Winston-Salem, N.C., was killed Aug. 31 by a roadside bomb in Samarra. He was a 1998 high school graduate and was based at Fort Benning.

“He was one of the finest young men I’ve had in this program,” said Lt. Col. Dane Hatley, Ruth’s former ROTC instructor.

“He was an outstanding student, athlete, and he was our battalion commander as a senior.”

On his second tour, Ruth, an engineer, was on a security patrol, escorting an emergency ordinance disposal team to the site of another attack.

His high school principal, Adolphus Coplin, remembers Ruth, but “he wasn’t one of those students who got in trouble, so he wasn’t coming to the principal’s office all the time.”

He is survived by his parents, Barbara and Frederic Kluttz.

“It’s what they say — the good die young,” Hatley said, adding that the news of Ruth’s death “was like a sledgehammer in the chest.”

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