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Two Soldiers Killed in Iraq Identified
The identities of two more 1st Armored Division soldiers who were killed in Iraq during combat operations Aug. 9 were released Monday.
Spc. Shane W. Woods, 23, of Palmer, Alaska, and Spc. Ignacio Ramirez, 22, of Henderson, Nev., were killed when a roadside bomb exploded near their Humvee, according to the Department of Defense.
First Sgt. Aaron D. Jagger, 43, of Hillsdale, Mich., was also killed in the attack. Stripes reported Jagger’s death on Saturday.
All three were members of the Charlie, or “Cobra,” Company, 1st Battalion, 37th Armored Regiment, based in Friedberg, Germany. The battalion, one of six in the 1st Brigade, has lost five soldiers since moving to Ramadi from northern Iraq in June.
Woods’ family remembers him as a generous patriot who put others first. He was a member of the JROTC throughout high school and enlisted in the Army immediately following his graduation, Wayne Woods, Shane Woods’ father, told the Anchorage Daily News in Alaska.
Wayne Woods said his son knew “from the time that he was a small boy that he wanted to be a soldier.”
“Shane was the JROTC cadet of the year for the state of Alaska,” Barbara Nakajo, Shane Woods’ aunt, said in an e-mail to Stripes. Her nephew “felt he was doing the right thing by going to Iraq,” she said.
Nakajo, an Army civilian who works for the European Command in Stuttgart, said Iraq wasn’t the only worthwhile cause he was committed to.
“He actually had an allotment going from his pay to support an orphanage in India.”
Woods served as a driver for his company’s first sergeant and commanding officer, his father said.
Ramirez was known for his positive attitude and sense of humor. Sgt. David Chapman, 32, knew Ramirez for two years. He shared a tent with him during training exercises and he said the thing he remembered most was he was always in a good mood. “It seemed like nothing ever got him down,” Chapman said. Everyone who knew Ramirez liked him, and “just about everybody knew him,” he said. “If anybody had a problem, he’d try to help them out with it. He’d do whatever he could.”
Because the 1-37 took so many casualties during its first deployment, and is now operating in arguably the most dangerous part of Iraq, Chapman said the deaths are “to be expected. … You hope it never happens, but you know it’s going to.”
Capt. Jason Irwin, the 1-37 rear detachment commander, said the bomb that killed the three soldiers destroyed their up-armored Humvee. “The EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) guys said that it was one of the largest blasts they’ve seen in that area in quite some time,” Irwin said.
The bomb was buried deep in the road and had been paved over during recent repairs. They expect the bomb had been laid months before the attack, Irwin said. “Unfortunately, as I understand within Ramadi, the town has been under insurgent control to some degree or another for a period of time, and now we’re having to take back certain sections of that town,” he said.
The insurgents’ preparations have taken their toll on the 1-37. “We have the largest number of fatalities in the brigade combat team,” Irwin said.