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Los Alamitos High Grad Killed In Afghanistan Had 'Warrior's Spirit'

Long Beach native Sgt. Thomas R. Macpherson, 26, "personified the traits of the consummate Ranger: commitment and courage," according to Army officials.

The Los Alamitos High School graduate who died in combat in Afghanistan on Friday had a “warrior’s spirit” and personified “commitment and courage,” Army officials said.

Long Beach native Sgt. Thomas R. MacPherson, 26, was killed by enemy forces during a heavy firefight in Ghazni Province, according to a statement from the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

MacPherson was assigned to Company D, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army in May 2007, and served as a mortarman and  Ranger Team Leader for more than four years. 

The regiment has been deployed in Afghanistan since October 2001.

“Sgt. Tom MacPherson lost his life courageously leading his Rangers into a close quarters fight with the enemy,” said Lt. Col. Gregory Anderson, Commander of 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment in a written statement.

“Tommy MacPherson never backed away from the dangers of combat, and his warrior spirit, personal example and zeal for life continue to inspire all who knew him,” Anderson said. “We will honor his service to our nation and the heroic example he set for all Rangers. Our thoughts and prayers are with the MacPherson family.”

MacPherson served one deployment to Iraq, and was on his fourth deployment to Afghanistan.

“MacPherson personified the traits of the consummate Ranger: commitment and courage,” said Col. Mark W. Odom, Commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment in a written statement. “He deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq multiple times and always seemed to be at the critical points on the battlefield.” 

MacPherson is survived by his wife, Claudia MacPherson, and their son, Brayden, of Tacoma, Wash., and his parents, Troy and Diona MacPherson of Long Beach. 

As of 3:13 p.m. Monday, the announcement of MacPherson's death had received 1,450 comments on the 75th Ranger Regiment's Facebook Page.

Here are what some Facebook commenters said: (comments have not been edited)

  • Robert Tanner: To my cousin and fellow Soldier, may you rest in peace!! My thoughts and prayers are with Claudia and Brayden as well as your parents, Didi and Troy. Your service was an honorable one sealed by the ultimate sacrifice, YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN RANGER!!! 

    SFC Robert R Tanner II
    names after your grandfather. 
  • Sue Moma Peney: No words are coming. Know you are the best of the best and we stand with your family.
  • Harvey Everson: True Warrior's never Die...just like my Best Friend in Vietnam.
  • David Klegin: Its stuff like this that will keep his memory alive. RIP ranger and thank you for defending us and our great country
  • Ashley Shepard: Thank you for your service Sgt MacPherson! RIP! Thoughts & prayers with his family, friends & loved ones! RLTW!

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