A Los Alamitos High School graduate was killed in Afghanistan on Friday, Oct. 12, according to the United States Army.
Sgt. Thomas R. MacPherson, 26, of Long Beach, was killed during a firefight with the enemy.
He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service and Purple Heart.
MacPherson was a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment.
“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. “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. 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 previously served one deployment to Iraq and this was his fourth deployment to Afghanistan.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army in May 2007. “Sgt. Thomas MacPherson personified the traits of the consummate Ranger: commitment and courage,” said Col. Mark W. Odom, commander of the regiment. “He deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq multiple times and always seemed to be at the critical points on the battlefield.”
His awards and decorations included the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Expert Infantryman’s Badge, the Parachutist Badge, and the U.S. Army Expert Rifle Marksmanship Qualification Badge.
MacPherson has also been awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three Campaign Stars, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, and the NATO Medal.
MacPherson joined the 75th Ranger Regiment in December 2007.
“Today’s Ranger Regiment is the Army’s premier direct-action raid force,” said the US Army website Army.mil.
“The regiment remains an all-volunteer force with an intensive screening and selection process followed by combat-focused training,” the website said.
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.
MacPherson is the latest Sun Region casualty of the Middle East.
Marine Matt Manoukian, 29, of Seal Beach, was killed in Iraq in August.
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