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For the Fallen – A Co, 3/75 Rangers, CPT Russell Rippetoe/FSO, SSG Nino Livaudais, SPC Ryan Long. RLTW!

Objective  Lynx, Haditha Dam-Day 4, 03 Mar 2003

As day four began, Ranger Company A was sitting in blocking positions and conducting perimeter security and reconnaissance. Company B, along with Mo, was still on the dam, holding out as best they could, all the while waiting for long-overdue relief. Chief Greg Coker joined Ranger Company C to conduct mission planning for the next important objective in the fight for the dam.

Chief came to be friends with the Fire Support Officer (FSO) of Company A, Captain Russ Rippetoe, in the time they spent working together to bring effective fire support to the Rangers. Russ was a very energetic man of immense courage and always sporting a positive attitude. Russ was out on one of A Company’s roadblocks set up to keep civilians from wandering onto the dam.

Russ was there with the Rangers when a car pulled up several meters from the barricade. A man stepped out, indicating to his apparently pregnant wife inside, and held up empty water bottles. Rangers were alert and kept the car at gunpoint, as no Iraqis were to be trusted at this point in the battle. Again, the man indicated to his wife the need for water.

RIP Rippetoe

Big-hearted Russ Rippetoe and two Rangers gathered some water bottles and brought them to the car. As they stepped near, the couple detonated a Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED), which instantly killed Russ and the two Rangers. Big-hearted Russ… The Rangers at the barricade immediately opened fire on the vehicle behind the one that had just detonated; it, too, went up in a massive explosion — another VBIED!

75th Ranger FSO Captain Russell “Rusty” Rippetoe.
75th Ranger SSG Nino Livaudais
75th Ranger SPC Ryan Long

Chief Greg Coker coordinated a Black Hawk helicopter to retrieve the bodies of the three deceased Rangers. When the Hawk landed at the FARP, Objective Serpent, Chief, and another Ranger unloaded the bodies of the three men and then wept for the loss.