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Army Staff Sgt. Ronald J. Spino

Died December 29, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

45, of Waterbury, Conn.; assigned to the 274th Forward Surgical Team, 44th Medical Command, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died Dec. 29 in Herat, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when he was shot while unloading supplies.

Bragg medic killed in Afghanistan

The Associated Press

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — A 45-year-old Fort Bragg soldier has been killed while unloading medical supplies in a village in northwestern Afghanistan.

Military officials say Staff Sgt. Ronald Jay Spino from Waterbury, Conn., died Dec. 29 in Bala Morghab, a village in Badghis province.

Spino was assigned to the 44th Medical Command at Fort Bragg. He returned from Iraq in February and deployed to Afghanistan in November.

Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell says Spino was expected to return from Afghanistan in about 30 days and ordered flags in the state lowered to half-staff.

Spino was remembered by friends in his unit as a quiet, hardworking soldier with a good sense of humor.

‘Blossomed’ after joining Army

The Associated Press

Ronald Spino was a hardworking but shy man who “blossomed” when he joined the military, his mother said.

“It was his true love,” Rita Spino said.

For a time he worked in the records room of Waterbury Hospital in Waterbury, Conn., where co-workers said he went out of his way to help others. The same held true in the military.

“For those who knew and worked with him, we will remember him as a dedicated non-commissioned officer,” said Col. Scott Putzier, one of Spino’s superiors. “He was quiet, so when he spoke, everyone listened and were often caught off guard by his sense of humor. ... He was really funny.”

Spino, 45, of Fayetteville, N.C., died Dec. 29 in Bala Morghab, Afghanistan, when he was shot while unloading supplies. He was assigned to Fort Bragg, N.C., and lived in Waterbury before joining the military.

The combat nurse graduated from Holy Cross High School and Teikyo Post University, now known as Post University.

He joined the Army in 1993 at age 29, becoming a medic. He later trained as a nurse and then became a paratrooper, and was sometimes called upon to parachute into war-ravaged areas to treat wounded soldiers, his mother said.

Spino is survived by his wife, Betty, whom he met while he was in the military; a stepdaughter, Kandice, 24; his mother and father; two brothers; and a sister.

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