Paratrooper killed in traffic accident

Sgt. Raymond Lopez, 30, of Fresno, California, died in a single-vehicle traffic accident on Highway 401 in Raeford on Monday, Sept. 13. The accident remains under investigation. Lopez was assigned to Golf Company, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

“Sgt. Lopez was a tremendous Paratrooper, leader and friend to all in our organization,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Molly, commander of the 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. “He embraced every facet of being an 82nd Paratrooper and treated those around him like family. We are all deeply saddened by his tragic loss and are committed to ensuring every resource is made available to his family and peers to help them during this difficult time.”

Lopez enlisted in the Army in 2013 and completed Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Benning, Georgia, graduating as an Infantryman in 2014. He was assigned to 75th Ranger Regiment as a rifleman, assistant machine-gunner and ammunition bearer.

In 2017, Lopez was assigned to 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment as a rifleman in Fort Bragg. He was then reassigned to G Co, 1-505th PIR where he reclassed military occupational specialty to petroleum heavy vehicle operator in 2019. Sgt. Lopez deployed for eight months to Afghanistan July 2019, returning in March 2020.

Sgt. Lopez will be posthumously awarded the Army Commendation Medal and promoted to Staff Sergeant.

Lopez’s awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal with Combat (C) device, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Certificate of Achievement, Expert Infantry Badge, Army Parachutist Badge, Driver and Mechanic Badge-Driver Wheeled Vehicle, and Marksmanship Qualification Badge Expert with Carbine.

He is survived by his parents.


Courtesy photo/Contributed.

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