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Gypsy
04-02-2004, 11:00
I received an email today from an MSG who lost a good friend on Tuesday, MSG Richard L. Ferguson with the 10th SFG. Top of course asked for thoughts and prayers on the loss of his Brother, and I am posting the article in full here since you have to be a subscriber to access.

Rest in peace MSG Ferguson, your service and sacrifce will be remembered. My sincere condolences to his family, friends and Brothers...as well as any of you Men here that may have known him.

Respectfully,
Lorene


http://www.projo.com/news/content/projo_20040402_iraq2.1612ea.html

Coventry native killed in non-hostile crash in Iraq

Richard L. Ferguson, 46, was a career member of the Special Forces.


07:56 AM EST on Friday, April 2, 2004


BY MEAGHAN WIMS
Journal Staff Writer

COVENTRY -- Before leaving in February for his fourth tour of duty in Iraq, Richard L. Ferguson, a master sergeant in the Special Forces, wrote out a will and picked out a cemetery plot.

In his early days in the Army, Ferguson, 46, a Coventry native stationed at Fort Carson, Colo., had premonitions about his death. He'd wake up in a cold sweat after bad dreams, his brother, Lee F. Ferguson Jr., said yesterday.

But Master Sgt. Richard Ferguson, a career military man and member of the 10th Special Forces since he was a teenager, had come to terms with the danger of the job he loved so much.

On Tuesday, he was killed in Samarra, Iraq, after the Humvee he was riding in flipped over. Ferguson was a passenger in the vehicle, and two other soldiers suffered minor injuries in the accident, according to Maj. Robert E. Gowan, a spokesman for the Army's Special Forces Command.

The incident was characterized as nonhostile, according to Shari Lawrence, deputy public affairs officer for U.S. Army Human Resources Command in Alexandria, Va. More details on the accident, which is still under investigation, were unavailable.

Ferguson's Rhode Island family members, including his brother and father, Lee F. Ferguson Sr., learned Wednesday of Richard's death and yesterday they remembered him for his dedication and bravery.

"He was strong-willed," his father said yesterday. "Once he got in, he loved it and he stayed with it. That was his home."

Despite being a member of an elite military force, Ferguson was humble, more often found in fatigues than in his dress uniform. He turned down a promotion that would have taken him out of the field, his father said.

"He wasn't a person to stand out there and say, 'Look what I did,' " his father said. "He liked being in the field. He was behind the scenes. He was a team leader."

Ferguson had served in Bosnia, Germany, Iraq and other nations, but his missions -- and often his deployments -- remained secret.

Lee Ferguson would sometimes spot his son on television, recognizing Richard by the way he walked or moved his hand or held a cigarette.

Richard L. Ferguson
He would later tell Richard he spotted him, and "he'd just look at you and smile, and say, 'That wasn't me,' " Lee Ferguson said.

"What went on, he left at work or with the guys," Ferguson said. "When he came home, he laughed, he joked, he went camping with the kids, he went on trips, he worked around the house."

"His missions went with him," Richard's brother Lee Jr. said yesterday.

Ferguson had escaped death at least once before, during the terrorist attacks of 9/11. He was at the Pentagon for a meeting that morning, but was outside smoking a cigarette when a hijacked plane crashed into the building.

Ferguson came from a military family. His father served in Korea, his brother Lee served in the 82nd Airborne and another brother, Eric, is now serving in Honduras with the Air National Guard.

Ferguson dropped out of Coventry High School at age 17 -- later earning his GED -- to join the Army.

When Richard first joined the Special Forces, his father worried. The Special Forces is known for unconventional warfare.

But then, Lee Ferguson said, "You get where you say there's nothing you can do. He's going to take care of himself. But it's always that one chance and he took it this time."

The phone was ringing at Lee Ferguson Jr.'s home all day yesterday, with friends and family offering condolences. "I'm telling them, 'Yes, it's true. He's gone,' "

Lee said his brother's death hasn't made him question the war in Iraq.

"We understand why we're over there," he said, flipping through a family photo album with his daughter, Becky, 16. "We took over the country and now we have to bring it back together . . . . He was proud to be there and proud to serve. It's like the Special Forces motto: To liberate the oppressed."

As of yesterday, 590 U.S. service members have died since the beginning of military operations in Iraq a year ago, according to the Department of Defense. Of those, 399 died as a result of hostile action and 191 died of nonhostile causes, the department said.

JoAnn E. Philips, of Coventry, facing the camera, says goodbye to Bonnie Jervis, of Coventry, yesterday at the Ferguson family home. Philips is the sister of Richard L. Ferguson, killed in an accident in Iraq tuesday. Jervis is their cousin.
While stationed in Germany, Richard Ferguson met his wife, Marianne. They made their home in Woodland Park, Colo. They have three sons, Jonathan, 10, Jordan 8, and Jason, 4, and Richard has a daughter, Audrey, 23, of Missouri, from a previous marriage.

His service with the Special Forces kept him away from home about six months out of the year, his brother says, but when Ferguson was home, he enjoyed skiing and hiking with his children and volunteering with the Boy Scouts.

He was also a history buff, and had spent about 20 years putting together an elaborate family tree tracing the family's roots back to the 1700s.

"Someone else will have to pick it up now," Lee Ferguson Jr. said.

Ferguson had planned to leave the service in June and had started taking courses to become a civil engineer, his brother said.

He'd promised to take his children camping this summer, to celebrate.

Richard Ferguson also leaves a sister, JoAnn E. Phillips, of Coventry. He was the son of the late Jean C. Ferguson, who is buried at the Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery, where a flag and a wreath have been placed in Richard's honor.

Before his deployment, Ferguson, who had always planned on being buried at Arlington National Cemetery, decided instead on a plot in a Colorado cemetery, closer to his wife and children.

The family will be flying to Colorado in the next few days for a military funeral next week. A Rhode Island memorial will be planned, the family said.

With staff reports from projo.com writer Jack Perry.

Surgicalcric
04-02-2004, 11:08
Thank you for your service and sacrifice MSG Ferguson.

Blue Skies.


Lorene:

Please be sure to pass our condolences to your friend.

Respectfully,

A Greatful American

The Reaper
04-02-2004, 11:20
RIP, Top.

TR

Radar Rider
04-02-2004, 22:11
Rest In Peace; God Bless You MSG Ferguson.

Ockham's Razor
04-04-2004, 07:27
Rest In Peace, Master Sergeant.

God Speed.

NousDefionsDoc
04-04-2004, 11:04
RIP

Ambush Master
04-04-2004, 11:14
Rest in peace Master Sergeant.