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Oct 15, 2012 1:17 AM by Sam Salzwedel

Sierra Vista veterans reflect on soldier's death

SIERRA VISTA - Even veterans who did not know Ryan Savard were upset to hear he died in Afghanistan.

Savard graduated from Buena High School in Sierra Vista in 2001.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Sierra Vista was full of people who have lost friends in combat.

Bill McCutchan spent 9 years in the Marine Corps. After Sept. 11 he joined the Arizona National Guard and served in Iraq.

"Any loss to any service member is gigantic," McCutchan said. "However, when it comes so close to home, that he was one of ours, from our little tiny community, it hurts just as much as losing one of mine in country."

Vince Mitchell spent 20 years and 3 days in the Army. He said he lost quite a few friends in Vietnam.

"They're all heart-breaking, every one of them" Mitchell said, "but when you have somebody here in town that passes away from being overseas, it's even worse."

Savard joined the Army the summer after he graduated high school. He became a helicopter repairer stationed in Germany.

He took several classes and earned many medals. He eventually worked his way to Special Forces.

He was killed by small arms fire in Afghanistan on October 13.

He was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

He was born in Salt Lake City. He also spent time in New Hampshire.

The governors of New Hampshire and Arizona requested flags flown at half-staff.

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