82nd Airborne Division Sergeant Major remembers Valley soldier killed in Iraq

By Trang Do - Bio | Email

Posted By Fred Davenport - Email

HAZEL GREEN, AL (WAFF) -  A Valley soldier killed in Iraq has been laid to rest. Private first class Ricky Lee Turner was honored by family and friends in a private service Sunday afternoon.

Private Turner's former Division Sergeant Major remembers him as a hero and a hard worker, a dedicated soldier who loved serving his country.

Overcast, cloudy skies set a somber tone in Hazel Green, a tiny, ten square mile community where Army Private First Class Ricky Lee Turner was laid to rest.

Turner, a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, died on January 16th in Baghdad from injuries caused by an improvised explosive device.

"He was one of the soldiers that everybody loves, he was a soldier's soldier that he worked hard, he was dedicated to his job," said Command Sergeant Major Thomas Capel, whose 82nd Airborne Division is stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

He joined Turner's family, friends and colleagues as they remembered him in a service held at Hazel Green funeral home.

"As I talked to his friends, from down range, that was with him and worked with him, side by side him. He loved what he was doing. He loved the United States Army," said Capel.

At only 20 years old, Turner was already a decorated soldier. He'd been awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Combat Action Badge.

"He died for freedom and it's something that most, a lot of people take for granted that freedom is not free," said Capel.

Private First Class Ricky Turner was a hero in life and a hero in death who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.

He was buried at Charity Cemetery in Hazel Green. Private Turner is survived by his wife, his parents and a brother who's also serving his country.