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.