RHS graduate dies in Afghanistan

[NPI Float="left"]/Media/0/jpg/2009/8/58850ea4-3048-99b7-52eb6e6484d1e0c0.jpg[/NPI]   U.S. Army Special Forces Capt. Ronald G. Luce, a Ramona High School graduate and athlete, was among three Special Forces National Guard soldiers killed Sunday, Aug. 2, in Afghanistan.

   The 27-year-ol Fayetteville, N.C., man was killed when the vehicle in which he was on patrol hit a wire attached to a homemade bomb. He was a Special Forces team leader.

   Luce graduated from Ramona High School in 2000. He was a starter on the varsity football team.

Also killed were Sgt. 1st Class Severin W. Summers, 43, of Bentonia, Miss., a Special Forces engineer, and Sgt. 1st Class Alejandro Granado, 42, of Longview, Texas, a Special Forces communications sergeant.

   They were assigned to Company C, 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group, which has headquarters at Jackson, Miss.

   Luce is survived by his wife, Kendahl, and daughter, Carie, of Fayetteville, and parents Ronald and Katherine Luce of Sneads Ferry, N.C.

   A native of Julian, Luce became a commissioned officer in 2002, after enrolling in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at Valley Forge Military Academy.

   He also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., and attended the Infantry Officer’s Basic Course, Infantry Captain’s Career Course, Ranger School and Airborne School.

   In 2008, Luce graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course and was assigned to the 2nd Battalion 7th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg before being reassigned to the 20th Special Forces Group.

   He also was deployed to Iraq.

   Luce’s awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Parachutist Badge, and the Ranger and Special Forces tabs.

   “Ronnie Luce was the kind of an individual that you would want to represent your school, team and, above all, your country,” said Ramona High School Coach Bill Clark, who was Luce’s varsity football coach.

   “He was well-respected by his teammates because of his work ethic. He was the ultimate teammate,” said Coach Jason Matthews, a teammate of Luce’s on the 1999 varsity football team.

   “Ronnie Luce was a man of strong moral conviction,” said RHS Coach Bill Tamburrino. “He had strong beliefs and he was willing to stand up and fight for what he believed in. It was a privilege knowing and coaching Ronnie.

   “The Army release said it all:  ‘Son, brother, husband, father, Captain U.S. Army, Ranger, Special Forces.’ One doesn’t have to read between the lines to understand what kind of a man Capt. Ronald Luce was.

   “He was an American who was willing to serve his country in difficult times. He made the ultimate sacrifice. Those who had the honor and privilege of knowing Ronnie are better off because of that experience.”

   
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