Army Staff Sgt. Ronald J. Spino
45, of Waterbury, Conn.; assigned to the 274th Forward Surgical Team, 44th Medical Command, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died Dec. 29 in Bala Morghab, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when he was shot while unloading supplies.
(The following is taken from www.fayobserver.com of Jan. 1, 2010) A Fort Bragg soldier was shot and killed Tuesday while unloading medical supplies in Afghanistan, officials said.
Staff Sgt. Ronald J. Spino, 45, of Waterbury, Conn., had been assigned to the 274th Forward Surgical Team (Airborne), 44th Medical Command. He was serving as a licensed practical nurse.
The circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation, according to the Department of Defense.
Spino was shot while unloading supplies in Bala Marghab, a village in the Badghis Province in northwestern Afghanistan, according to a news release from Fort Bragg.
"Staff Sergeant Spino was a hardworking, diligent airborne combat medic," said Col. Scott Putzier, chief of staff for the 44th Medical Command. "For those who knew and worked with him, we will remember him as a dedication non-commissioned officer. He was quiet, so when he spoke, everyone listened and were often caught off guard by his sense of humor . he was really funny."
Spino is survived by his wife, Betty, and a stepdaughter.
He had originally deployed to Iraq in February but was re-missioned to Afghanistan in November, according to officials.
Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell ordered state and U.S. flags in the soldier's home state lowered to half-staff following the announcement of Spino's death. The flags will remain at half-staff until sundown on the date of Spino's funeral, which has not been determined.
Rell said Spino had been expected to return from Afghanistan in about 30 days.
"This brave and dedicated medic dedicated his military career to treating the fallen on the battlefield," Rell said in a news release. "Not only did Staff Sergeant Spino care for their wounds, he was trained to take extraordinary risks - including combat parachute jumps - to place himself as close to them as possible to provide the very best care."
Rell said the nature of Spino's job speaks "far more eloquently than any words can do" about Spino's character and bravery.
Spino was a 16-year veteran who completed two tours of duty at Fort Bragg between 2003 and 2009, serving with the 28th Combat Support Hospital, the 602nd Area Support Medical Company and his current unit.
His first tour of duty was in 1997 and 1998, when he served at Womack Army Medical Center.
Spino has received a number of awards over the years, including the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Iraqi Campaign Medal. He also has the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon and a Parachutist Badge.