Army Ranger Killed in Afghanistan
A U.S. Army Ranger from Oregon was one of four American service members who were killed when enemy forces attacked their unit in Afghanistan, the Department of Defense said Tuesday. Pfc. Cody Patterson was 24 years old. He was killed Sunday in the Zhari District of Afghanistan, where enemy forces used an improvised explosive device, DOD officials said. The Los Angeles Times reports the Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing, and that two suicide bombers were involved. Also killed were 1st Lt. Jennifer Moreno, 25, of San Diego, CA; Sgt. Patrick Hawkins, 25, of Carlisle, PA; and Sgt. Joseph Peters, 24, of Springfield, MO. Patterson was born in Corvallis and graduated from Philomath High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Army, completed basic training as an infantryman in Fort Benning, GA, and then graduated from the basic Airborne Course there. He went on to graduate from the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program, and then was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment as a rifleman. This was Patterson's second deployment to Afghanistan. The commander of his regiment, Col. Christopher Vanek, said Patterson had a limitless future. He would have been successful in whatever path he had chosen in life, Vanek said. He chose to serve his country by volunteering for the most difficult and challenging duties of a United States Army Ranger. Patterson, who was awarded several medals, badges and service ribbons during his time in the Army, was posthumously awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge, Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Purple Heart and NATO Medal. Patterson is survived by his mother, Nancy Wilson, who lives in Corvallis; and his father, Randy Patterson, and sister, Taylor, who both live in Philomath. Monday was the 12th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.