Ronald Ray Harrison – Specialist, United States Army

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
News Release

April 23, 2008

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Specialist Ronald R. Harrison, 25, of Morris Plains, Nnew Jerse, died April 22, 2008, at Forward Operating Base Falcon near Baghdad, Iraq, of a non-combat related injury. He was assigned to the 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia.

The incident is under investigation.

24 April 2008:

The Department of Defense announced that Ronald Ray Harrison, 25, of Budd Lake, New Jersey, died in Iraq April 21, 2008, while deployed in support of Operation Iraq Freedom.


Harrison was serving with the Army's 4th Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, of the 3rd Infantry Division, based out of Fort Stewart, Georgia, at the time of his death.

Harrison is survived by his wife Kagen, and her son, Max, of Montgomery, Texas, parents, Richard and Beverly Harrison of Mount Olive, New Jersey, sister and brother-in-law Heather and David Stiles, nephews Brian and Christopher Stiles and niece Abigail Stiles of Washington, New Jersey.

He was raised in West Milford and attended Boonton High School.

Harrison joined the New Jersey Army National Guard in December 2003 and enlisted in the United States Army in April 2006.

The Harrison family has issued the following statement:

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Ronald, a beloved husband, son and brother. He was a wonderful young man and a good Soldier who served his country with pride. We will miss him dearly. He will be remembered fondly in our minds and our hearts forever.”

Harrison will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, on May 1, 2008. The interment ceremony will be private.

26 April 2008:

The soldier with Morris County ties who died this week in Iraq had intended to make the Army a career, an Army spokesman said on Friday.

Officials also said on Friday that Ronald Ray Harrison was a Specialist, not a Private as originally stated by the Department of Defense.

Harrison, 25, died on Monday at Forward Operating Base Falcon near Baghdad. The cause of death is still under investigation, according to Department of Defense officials, who released no details.

His parents, Richard and Beverly Harrison of the Budd Lake section of Mount Olive, revealed more about their son on Friday through Army spokesman Peter Rowland, who works at Picatinny Arsenal.

They said Harrison loved to play sports, swim and cook, and especially liked barbecuing.

“He intended to make the Army his career. He enjoyed the services and was proud to wear the uniform,” Rowland said on behalf of Harrison's parents. “The Army was very good for him.”

Harrison was deployed to Iraq on a 15-month mission in November. He was expected to return home in the summer as part of a two-week, mid-tour leave, Rowland said.

Harrison grew up in the Upper Greenwood Lake section of West Milford and attended Boonton High School, where he played football, basketball and track. He enlisted in the National Guard in December 2003 and was assigned to the Dover Armory. He completed an advanced individual training course in Fort Knox, Kentucky.

He also worked for a local exterminator.

In April 2006, he enlisted in the Army.

He was assigned to Fort Stewart, Georgia, where he met his wife, Kagen. She was a soldier at the time, but since has become a civilian. She lives in West Montgomery, Texas, with a son, Max.

Funeral services will take place at Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday.

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