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Army Spc. Ryan J. Connolly

Died June 24, 2008 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

24, of Vacaville, Calif.; assigned to 173rd Special Troops Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Bamberg, Germany; died June 24 in Khogyani, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when his vehicle struck a suspected landmine.

Santa Rosa paratrooper buried with honors

The Associated Press

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — A 24-year-old Army paratrooper who grew up in Santa Rosa and died last month in Afghanistan was buried Monday with full military honors.

Ryan James Connolly had recently been promoted to sergeant and had 14 days left in his tour in Afghanistan when his vehicle struck a roadside bomb on June 24, according to the Department of Defense. He was riding with four other troops when the bomb went off in the town of Khogyani near the border of Pakistan, killing him and another soldier.

Connolly served with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, based in Italy with units in Germany. His widow and 1-year-old daughter were brought to California on a military flight from Germany.

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