Fort Benning ranger killed in combat in Afghanistan - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Fort Benning ranger killed in combat in Afghanistan

Sgt. Anibal Santiago, 37, (Source: Department of Defense) Sgt. Anibal Santiago, 37, (Source: Department of Defense)

Source: Department of Defense

FORT BENNING, GA - An Army Ranger died July 18th, 2010, from injuries received during combat operations July 17 in Afghanistan while serving with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment based at Fort Benning, Ga.

Sgt. Anibal Santiago, 37 of Belvidere, Ill., died from injuries sustained as a result of a high-altitude fall while conducting combat operations over mountainous terrain in Khowst Province, Afghanistan. Treated immediately by unit medical personnel, he was quickly evacuated to the nearest medical treatment facility where he died July 18.

He was on his third deployment with one deployment to Iraq and one to Afghanistan.

"I wish the American public had an opportunity to know Sgt. Santiago. He embodied the Ranger Ethos – an American Patriot, incredibly lethal sniper, and was always at his best when conditions were the worst," said Col. Michael E. Kurilla, commander, 75th Ranger Regiment. "He is a hero to our Nation, the 75th Ranger Regiment, and his Family."

Following service as a Chicago policeman, Santiago enlisted for duty as a Sailor in the U.S. Navy in October 2001.  Santiago then continued his military service by enlisting in the U.S. Army in October 2007.  Following completion of One Station Unit Training, he was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment, where he served as a sniper and sniper team leader. 

"Sgt. Santiago was a rock of a man that everyone – his fellow Rangers and his Family – relied on in the toughest of times.  He was an incredible servant to the Nation as a policeman, Navy Sailor and Army Ranger.  We are eternally grateful for what he gave us all in life," said Col. Dan Walrath, commander, 3rd Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment.

Santiago is survived by his wife, Mandy of Fort Benning Ga., his son, Hannibal Felix of Belvidere, Ill.; and his parents, Anibal and Maria Santiago of Belvidere, Ill.

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