Heartland soldier dies in Iraq

Heartland soldier dies in Iraq
By: Holly Brantley & Heartland News staff

MARTIN, Tenn. - A soldier with ties to the Heartland dies fighting in Iraq.
Army specialist Michelle Ring, 24, died when she was hit by mortar fire while on gaurd duty inside the gate at Camp Libery.
Ring, who was ties to Martin, Tennessee, is just the latest in a long list of soldiers who have died in the line of duty since the war started.

Those close to Ring in Martin say the military was in her blood.  She leaves behind two sons.

This makes four soldiers Weakley County has lost: Spc. Thomas Foley, Spc. Dustin Laird, Marine Cpt. Brent Morel, and Spc. Michelle Ring.
The fallen from Martin are memorialized by scholarships, courtyards and flags.
People say it's important to honor them.
"I think Brent would smile about that.  He would be shocked that he's been honored in so many ways. He would say I'm just doing my job.  'Why would they do that? I'm unlike the other guys.  I was just doing my job,'" said Molly Morel, Captain Morel's mother.
"We said from the get go, I remember driving through town that day coming to his funeral...just kids on sidewalks holding signs and people out in their front yards with flags.  I said Dustin would be tickled pink right now to know all this fuss was over him.  He would just be grinning from ear to ear about it," said Heather Laird, Specialist Laird's sister.
Those in Weakley County stress the importance of honoring the heroes who have fallen and those who are still fighting.
Spc. Ring will be buried in a veteran's cemetary in Portland, Oregan.