(12/31/2009) The Department of Defense announced the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Staff Sgt. Ronald J. Spino, 45, of Waterbury, Conn., died Dec. 29 in Bala Morghab, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when he was shot while unloading supplies. He was assigned to the 274th Forward Surgical Team, 44th Medical Command, Fort Bragg, N.C. The circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation.
Since 2001, there have been 948 American troops killed in Afghanistan. Since 2003, there have been 4371 American troops killed in Iraq. They all had loved ones, families and friends. Please take a moment to honor their sacrifice.
Staff Sgt. Ronald Spino was a medic, nurse and combat paratrooper who's dangerous job was to tend to the wounded in the field. Sgt Spino was in charge of the intensive care unit and forward surgical unit. He was on his third wartime deployment, and had recently been transferred to Afghanistan from Iraq. Ronald was due home soon in January, and expected to be released from the military. Ironically he was not killed in combat while treating the wounded. Sgt Spino was killed and two Italian soldiers wounded, when they came under fire on a stopover to unload supplies at a military base in western Afghanistan.
Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell ordered U.S. and state flags lowered at half-staff in honor of Staff Sgt. Spino.
"This brave and dedicated medic dedicated his military career to treating the fallen on the battlefield," Rell said in a written statement. "Not only did Staff Sergeant Spino care for their wounds, he was trained to take extraordinary risks — including combat parachute jumps — to place himself as close to them as possible to provide the very best care."
Ronald grew up in Waterbury and graduated from Holy Cross High School and Post University. He worked with his mother in medical records at Waterbury Hospital before joining the service at age 30. His family that Ronald really found his calling as an Army medic.
His mother Rita, said, "I was outgoing, but my son was quite shy. He blossomed when he joined the service. It was his true love."
Staff Sgt. Ronald J. Spino's awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Korean Defense Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, and a Parachutist Badge.
Staff Sgt. Ronald J. Spino is survived by his family, including his wife, stepdaughter, brothers, sister, and his parents who live in Florida. Ronald will be missed. We will always honor and remember him. REST IN PEACE
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About the IGTNT series: I Got the News Today is intended to honor, respect and remind. Its title is a reminder that almost every day a military family gets the terrible news about a loved one. All of the U.S. casualties can be seen here. The DoD news releases are found here. Published photos of the returning fatalities are found on the Dover AFB page. Diaries about the fallen usually appear two days after their names are officially released, which allows time for the IGTNT team to find and tell their stories.
Since 2001, there have been 948 American troops killed in Afghanistan. Since 2003, there have been 4371 American troops killed in Iraq. Click the IGTNT tags below for previous diaries in the series which was begun by i dunno, and which is maintained by monkeybiz, noweasels, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, joyful, roses, SisTwo, a girl in MI, Spam Nunn, JeNoCo, Janos Nation, True Blue Majority, Proud Mom and Grandma, Sandy on Signal, and me, CalNM. These diaries are heartbreaking to write, but are an important service to those who have died, and show our community’s respect for our fallen brothers and sisters.
Please bear in mind that these diaries are read by friends and family of the service members chronicled here. May all of our remembrances be full of compassion rather than politics.