Dept. of Defense identifies service member killed in Afghanistan operation
The Department of Defense announced the death of an American soldier in Afghanistan Sunday.
In a brief statement Sunday morning, the DOD identified the soldier as Sgt. Maj. James “Ryan” Sartor, originally of Teague, Texas. Sartor died of injuries sustained from enemy fire during combat operations. The incident that led to Sartor’s death is under investigation.
Sartor served in the military for nearly 20 years, joining in June of 2001 when he was almost 23 years old. He embarked on the first of seven career deployments just one year later, serving in Iraq as an infantryman.
A selection to Special Forces soon followed, and he deployed to Iraq as a Green Beret four more times (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010). He was in the middle of his second deployment to Afghanistan at the time of his death.
Sartor was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group.
Sartor achieved numerous awards and decorations, including a Bronze Star and Defense Meritorious Service Medal.
“We’re incredibly saddened,” said Col. Brian Rauen, commander of 10th SFG (A) in a statement Sunday. “Ryan was a beloved warrior who epitomized the quiet professionals. He led his soldiers from the front, and his presence will be terribly missed.”