National Guard to Honor Two Local Men Killed in Action
The Virginia National Guard will host a memorial ceremony at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6, to honor two local men who were killed in action during a 2004 suicide bomb attack in Iraq.
Sgt. Nicholas C. Mason, of King George County, and Sgt. David A. Ruhren, of Stafford, were among 22 people who died as a result of the December 21, 2004, attack on Forward Operating Base Marez, in Mosul, Iraq. Fourteen of the dead with U.S. service members. Another 70 people were injured.
“This memorial service is our way to honor and remain connected to the selfless service and sacrifice of these two soldiers,” said Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. “This also serves as a fitting way to ensure that future generations remember.”
Mason and Ruhren enlisted in the Virginia Army National Guard shortly after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, the Virginia National Guard said. They were both combat engineers in the 229th Engineer Battalion, which is now the 116th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, based in Fredericksburg. They mobilized with the 276th Engineer Battalion for their deployment to Iraq in 2004.
Mason was 20 at the time of his death. His father Vic Mason, mother Christine Mason and sister Carly Mason survive him. He was a 2002 honor graduate of King George High School, where he was a star wrestler, cross-country runner and track athlete. He completed his freshman year at Virginia Tech and was preparing for his sophomore year before being called to active duty with the Virginia Guard.
Ruhren was also 20 at the time of his death. His mother Sonja Ruhren survives him. He graduated from Garfield Senior High School in 2002, where he was one of the first members of the Garfield Senior High School Marine Corps Junior ROTC Program. While serving in the guard, he took classes to become an EMT at the Rock Hill Fire Department in Stafford.
Current and former members of 116th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 229th Engineer Battalion and 276th Engineer Battalion will participate in Saturday’s ceremony, which will include remarks from soldiers who served with Mason and Ruhren, a roll call of the fallen and a 21-gun salute.
The ceremony is open to the public. It will be held at the Fredericksburg Readiness Center, 1700 Jefferson Davis Hwy., in Fredericksburg.
The Virginia National Guard has lost 10 Soldiers to hostile enemy action since Sept. 11, 2001. The full list is online at: http://vaguard.dodlive.mil/remember_the_fallen/