First Sgt. Russell Ryan Bell
First Sgt. Russell Ryan Bell, 37, of Spring Lake, N.C., died Aug. 2, 2012, while conducting an independent dismounted patrol when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detonated near Zharay, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.
He was assigned to the 1/508th 4BCT 82nd Airborn Division, Fort Bragg, N.C. and was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Bell’s awards and decorations include Bronze Star Medal, 2, Army Commendation w/combat distinguishing device “V,” Army Commendation Medal, 2 Army Achievement Medal, 3, Army Good Conduct Medal, 5, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal w/Bronze Service Star, 4, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon, 3, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, 4, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Parachutist Badge, Basic Air Assault Badge, Driver and Mechanic Badge Bar, Driver-W (for wheeled vehicles), Combat and Special Skill Badge Basic Marksmanship Qual Badge Bar, Weapon: Rifle (Inscription: Rifle), Expert, Drill Sergeant Identification Badge, Ranger Tab, Overseas Service Bar, 7.
He will be posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart and the Meritorious Service Medal.
Surviving First Sgt. Bell is his wife, Latoya Bell of Spring Lake, N.C.; son, Gage Bell of Spring Lake; his mother, Cynthia Holcomb and her husband Steve of Ohio; his father, Jim Bell and his wife Elizabeth of Texas; two brothers, Mathew Bell of Utah and Michael Bell of Texas; and a sister, Andrea Baird of Texas.
At the family’s request, all services will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the USO NC P.O. Box 91536 Raleigh, N.C., 27675; or to the Tyler, Texas, Children’s Park, 900 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler, 75701.
Care of the family is entrusted to LaFayette Funeral Home, 6651 Raeford Road, Fayetteville, N.C., 28304.
To view online or to sign the guestbook, go to www.lafayettefh.com