Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Ryley Gallinger-Long

Cornelius, Oregon

August 11, 2011

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
19 Navy Hospitalman

1st Battalion, 6th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force

Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

 Killed while conducting a dismounted patrol in the Marjah district, Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Welcoming Home Our Hero, Click photo below:

August 17, 2011

For Memorial Service Snapshots, Click photo below:

August 20, 2011

They Came To Honor Our Hero, Click photo below:

August 20, 2011

8/14/2011 - A U.S. Navy carry team transfers the remains of Navy Hospitalman Ryley Gallinger-Long, of Cornelius, Ore., at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Aug. 13, 2011. Gallinger-Long was assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. (U.S. Air Force photo/Steve Kotecki)

From The Oregonian oregonlive.com 08/13/11:

Latest Oregon serviceman killed in Afghanistan was recent Forest Grove High School graduate
Published: Saturday, August 13, 2011, 2:20 PM Updated: Sunday, August 14, 2011, 7:53 AM
By Everton Bailey Jr., The Oregonian 
A 19-year-old U.S. Navy hospital corpsman from Cornelius was killed in Afghanistan this week, according to the military.

The U.S. Department of Defense announced today that Ryley Gallinger-Long died on Thursday while conducting a dismounted patrol in the Helmand province. Gallinger-Long graduated from Forest Grove High School in 2010 and was assigned to the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina before being deployed as part of Operation Enduring Freedom last month.

The sailor got married in March and his wife’s blog indicates that he celebrated his 19th birthday with his twin brother just before deployment.

"He was so happy to be home," Hope Gallinger-Long, of Forest Grove, wrote about her husband in an entry dated July 16. "He was eating real food, driving his Jeep, and he had me and his family and friends all here for him." 

From Northwest Cable News nwcn.com 08/15/11:

Washington County Navy medic killed in Afghanistan
by Erica Heartquist
NWCN.com
Posted on August 15, 2011 at 7:24 AM  Updated today at 7:32 AM

CORNELIUS, Ore. -- Riley Gallinger-Long died doing what he loved, said the the mother of a Navy medic killed in Afghanistan in late July.

Susan Blanchard answered a knock at her door on Thursday and there where two Navy officers waiting outside with the bad news.

The 19-year-old had been in the country 27 days after his arrival.

"He was working on a Marine that had been hit, when he got hit. But, that's why he was there," she said "That's what he wanted to do more than anything else."

"I told my family that I would try to stop crying in about a year, but it goes in and out," Blanchard said.

"He was working on a Marine that had been hit, when he got hit. But, that's why he was there," she said "That's what he wanted to do more than anything else."

His brother Zack Gallinger-Long said Riley had the "'it's not going to happen to me' kind of mentality, especially with his position. He's the one who bandages people up, he's not the one that gets shot."

The brother said he could not be more proud of his sibling. "You know, he wanted to be there. He wanted to help people and he did his job."

The family said Zack earned a Purple Heart.

Gallinger-Long graduated from Forest Grove High School last year. He and his identical twin brother, Wyatt both went into the Navy. His brother loved the outdoors especially camping and white-water rafting.

But his one true love was his wife, Hope, a high school sweetheart.

"The other thing that he wanted to do more than anything else was marry his high school sweetheart and he got to do that too," said Blanchard.

His remains will be flown from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, followed by burial at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland. In lieu of flowers, his family asked that donations be made to the Wounded Warriors Project.

As much as it hurts that her son is gone, Blanchard said there are no regrets.

"Nope. There's no 'woulda, shoulda, coulda.' He is where he should have been. I truly believe that he was meant to go over there to try to help other people, whether it was a wounded soldier, or kids on the street or whatever. That's what he wanted to do."

From KOIN TV 6 koinlocal6.com 08/13/11:

Cornelius native killed in Afghanistan
Reported by: Sally Showman 

Published: 8/13 4:50 pm Updated: 8/14 6:22 pm

CORNELIUS, OR – The Department of Denfense says 19 year-old Hospitalman Ryley Gallinger-Long died while patrolling in the Marjah district of Afghanistan. The sailor was part of a dismounted patrol.

According to a press release issued by The Department of Defense, "Gallinger-Long was assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, N.C."

Gallinger-Long graduated from Forest Grove High School in 2010. He then enlisted in the Navy and married Hope Gallinger-Long earlier this year.

"Ryley was an amazing person. He died in the line of duty doing what he loved to do, what he worked so hard to achieve," said Hope in an email to KOIN Local 6.

Hope says her husband had a passion for his country and his work in the Navy, "I have heard from some of his commanding officers how he wanted to hit the ground running and they would stay after hours all the time to help him because he wanted to learn
everything he possibly could. I remember talking to him on the phone and he was always so excited about something he had just learned," she said.

High school friends remember Gallinger-Long as a kind-hearted, selfless person.

“I’m so proud that I ever knew him. He was a hero,” said Gallinger-Long’s high school friend Kimberly Peterson.

“He died a month and a week after his 19th birthday. His birthday is on the 4th of July actually,” said longtime friend Mariah Shipley.

Shipley says Gallinger-Long was one of the most selfless people she has ever met. 

“He died for his country giving us all freedom. He died possibly saving someone,” said Peterson.

A date and time for the funeral has not been set, but friends say there will be a full military funeral at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland.

"He was where he wanted to be, doing what he loved, and serving with the men he came to care for and he is so missed and loved," said his wife Hope.

Gallinger-Long is survived by his wife, parents an identical twin brother and an older brother.

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