Gone But Not Forgotten


Dec 11, 2006
In April of 2003 a force under the command of the Special Operations Command took control of Haditha Dam, a large hydroelectric complex on the Euphrates River 125 miles north of Karbala. The dam was captured in order to prevent Saddam's forces from forcibly breaching the facility, flooding the Euphrates, and causing massive casualties downstream as American forces crossed the river to the south.

Included in the assault group were elements of the 3rd Ranger Battalion, who were responsible for insuring the security of the area surrounding the dam after it was captured. On April 3, 2002 during patrol operations SSG Nino Livaudais, Spec. Ryan Long, and Captain Russell Rippetoe were killed by an IED. The two occupants of the vehicle were also killed, including a pregnant woman who was barbarically used as a ruse.

The Special Forces task force was assigned to hold the hydroelectric facility for a matter of hours. However they held on to the ground they captured for more than 10 days; and did so bravely despite an overwhelming enemy numerical superiority. For its actions at Haditha, 3rd Ranger Battalion was honored with the Army's Valorous Unit Award.

April 2003 seems like just yesterday, although it has been five years.

RIP Rangers Livaudais, Long, and Rippetoe. My thoughts and prayers are with your loved ones on this day. I will always remember your service and sacrifice to us all.