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Colville man killed in Iraq

An Army paratrooper from Colville was among six soldiers killed Monday when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicles while they were on patrol near Samarra, Iraq.

Spc. Ryan M. Bell, 21, died from wounds suffered in the bombing, the Army said Thursday.

Bell was a rifleman with the 82nd Airborne. He joined the Army in the summer of 2004, completed basic training and then Airborne training before being assigned to the 82nd in January 2005.

He was serving in the 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, and had received several decorations, including the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

“Bell truly is a hero that represents all that is great about America,” said his commander, Capt. Eugene Farris. “He will be sorely missed and live forever in our memories.”

In an Associated Press account on Monday, six soldiers assigned to Task Force Lightning were killed and three others wounded during combat in Salahuddin province, a Sunni-dominated region north of Baghdad.

Also killed in the bombing were Staff Sgt. Justin M. Estes, 26, of Sims, Ark.; Pfc. Cory C. Kosters, 19, of The Woodlands, Texas; Sgt. Andrew C. Perkins, 27, of Northglenn, Colo.; Spc. Justin A. Rollins, 22, of Newport, N.H., and Staff Sgt. Robert M. Stanley, 27, of Spotsylvania, Va.

Bell was recently married, an Airborne public affairs spokesman said Thursday.

Bell is survived by his wife, Terri Bell, of Fayetteville, N.C., and stepchildren, Jason and Tyler; his father and stepmother, Delray Bell and Virginia Rhoads-Bell of Colville, and his mother Sheryl Vickery, whose hometown wasn’t immediately available from the military.

Funeral services are pending.