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

Blake W Samodell

Davenport, Washington

September 15, 2005

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
24 Army Pfc

2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment

Fort Lewis, Washington



Ranger dies while jumping in Fort Lewis, Wash.

U.S. Army Special Operations Command Public Affairs Office

FORT LEWIS, Wash. (USASOC News Service, Sept. 19, 2005) One Ranger died and two were injured in a training accident here on Sept. 15.

The Rangers were participating in unit proficiency parachute training at Powell Drop Zone here when their parachutes apparently became entangled during the jump. Training was immediately suspended and the three Rangers were rushed by ambulance to Madigan Army Medical Center.

Shortly after, Pfc. Blake W. Samodell, 24, an infantryman assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, was pronounced dead at the hospital from injuries sustained during the jump. The other two Rangers are still hospitalized and are in critical condition. 

The incident is currently under investigation. 

A native of Davenport, Wash., Samodell was born April 30, 1981. He enlisted in the Army May 2004. After completing one station unit training, airborne school and Ranger indoctrination training at Fort Benning, Ga., he was assigned to 2nd Bn., 75th Ranger Regt., in December 2004.

His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge and Basic Parachutist Badge.

Samodell is survived by his mother, Vicki A. Samodell, also of Davenport; and his father, William T. Samodell, of Phoenix, Ariz.

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