Wednesday, July 11, 2007

CPL Michelle R Ring ~ Farewell and Walk with God

Corporal Michelle R Ring
July 2, 1981 ~ July 5, 2007
Died in Baghdad, Iraq

SPC Michelle R Ring, 24, died in Baghdad, Iraq on July 5, 2007, when mortar fire hit her base, Camp Liberty. She served with the 92d Military Police Battalion, Fort Benning, Georgia. She is the first woman from Oregon to be killed in the War on Terror.

By all news accounts, life had dealt this young woman some difficult blows in her life. SPC Ring joined the Army two years ago, and found a life with meaning. Her goal was to become a military police officer with the Army and to make it her career. She reenlisted two weeks prior to her death as a step to achieve that goal. She also hoped to obtain a college degree and become a U.S. Marshall.

"This was her place in life where she was supposed to be," her sister Karen Harbuck said. "She loved what she did, she was proud of herself, and we were all proud of her, for the first time."

SPC Ring was a single mother of two boys - Marc, 7, and Brandon, 5. She is the daughter of John and Shirley Stearns of McMinnville and the youngest of three sisters. In addition to her sons, parents, she is survived by her sisters Karen Harbuck, 29, of Wasilla, Alaska and Marilyn Haybeck, 28, of McMinnville.

Her funeral is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland. The Patriot Guard Riders will be there to pay tribute.

We will be keeping her family in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time, especially her two young sons.


Update from the Oregon National Guard Public Affairs Office:

Funeral services for Army Corporal Michelle R. Ring are scheduled for July 14 at 1:00 p.m. at Willamette National Cemetery.

Family and friends are welcome to attend.

Ring was granted a posthumous, lateral promotion from specialist to corporal. (I have changed the post to reflect her new rank.)

The family requests, for privacy reasons during their grieving process, that media does not attend the services.


Sarge Charlie said...

war is not for boys anymore, such a loss....

Anonymous said...

Our prayers are with her family.

Anonymous said...

My Heartfelt Deepest Sympathy to CPL Rings Family,Fellow Service Members and friends.May God give each of them the strength they will need on their most difficult days and bring them comfort in the warm loving memories they each hold in their hearts.
Soldiers Angel

Anonymous said...

To the Family of CPL Ring,
I recently joined the 92nd MP BN here at Ft Benning and today we held a memorial Service in honor of CPL Ring. My deepest heartfelt sympathy goes out to this family, my heart breaks for her sons because I too am a mother and was once a single mother as well. I also recently redeployed from Iraq having the challenge of leaving my kids behind. I can only imagine what it feels like and I am truly saddened. Losing a fellow comrade is like losing a family member, being in the Army makes all of us ONE. We develop friendships and bonds with each other like no other profession and do the ultimate sacrifice for our country. It's like being family away from family. CPL Ring is our family so don't ever think her death was in vain, she is truly a hero, even to her peers and fellow comrades. We love her, we love you all and I will pray for this family strength to heal and to know she is in a better place. I will ask GOD to cover her sons and not make their hearts bitter for her un-timely passing but know the joys of her heart and that it will forever be with them. My deepest sympathy to you-Be strong!

Flag Gazer said...

SPC Kafley -
What a beautiful tribute.
Thank you for sharing with us.

Chris said...

My heart breaks for her family and friends. I've never been to war and my life seems to be entirely different from hers but I found your small tribute somehow and I am touched to the core by the pictures of this stranger. I hope that someday her family and friends can not only be horrified and grief-stricken but proud.

kandi white-wilson said...

Michelle was not only my friend but what I can define as a sister not by blood but by choice. I met Michelle when I first moved to Ft Benning. A new soldier to the army and definitely alone and scared. She welcomed me in her arms and took me underneath her wing as though she was my mother. She brought me out of my shell and taught me how to appreciate life no matter what was thrown at me. I was with Michelle the night she deployed to Iraq. I remember it was halloween night and I had never seen a deployment in the works and had never felt such sorrow and yet so much pride for these brave soldiers and their families. I didnt see much of Michelle once I deployed because we were on two different stations. I did manage to run into her when she was coming back from leave and I was going home on leave. we talked for hours as we tried to catch up on everything that had been going on while we were away. I tried to call her on her birthday and tried to go see her but I could not contact her. The next day while I was on an "on the fob Mission" a chief came to me saying he had seen me before but he was not sure where. I was sure it was around the FOB and then he started to cry and told me he knew how. Michelle had pictures of us posted all over her walls and he knew that I did not know that she had been KIA. That was the worst day of my life. It took me quiet a few tears, boxes of tissues and comfort to finally walk into her memorial at Camp Liberty. Every gun shot that was fired in her memory was a memory appearing in my head of our times together and how I would go on without her. She was my leaning pole when I was weak. When I returned from Iraq I got a tattoo on my right forearm that reads RIP Michelle and has a celtic 4 leaf clover in the middle of it. She was my "right hand man" and her nickname was lucky and she had a tattoo of a four leaf clover. That way I can wear her proudly around with me and always remember that her death was not in vain and she will never be forgotten. Michelle, you were not my sister by blood, but you were and forever will be my sister by CHOICE! Thank you for all you do and to her family, thank you for being my leaning post when you needed one just as much! I love you all too! Love SGT Kandi White-Wilson