Tributes & Vigils Category: US Air Force
Name: Air Force Staff Sgt. Ray Rangel
From: San Antonio
Assigned to the 7th Civil Engineering Squadron, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas
Incident: Air Force Staff Sgt. Ray Rangel was killed Feb. 13 while performing a canal rescue mission in Balad, Iraq.
Airman dies trying to rescue soldiers in Iraq
SAN ANTONIO — A 29-year-old San Antonio airman died in Iraq while trying to rescue soldiers from a military vehicle that rolled into a canal.
Staff Sgt. Ray Rangel’s mother, Cynthia Rangel, said that her son — who has three sisters — was both disciplined and tender.
“I had to have surgery two years ago, and he took leave to be with me,” Cynthia Rangel said. “He was our only son, and he’s been taken away.”
Ray Rangel was a firefighter with the 7th Civil Engineer Squadron, based at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene. He was killed Sunday in Iraq.
The former defensive back at a San Antonio high school was known to teammates as “Crazy Ray.” He was deployed to Iraq in late September, spending Thanksgiving and Christmas apart from his family for the first time.
Family members are awaiting autopsy results to see if hypothermia played a role in the death of…