A family has lost a second son after a decorated Marine was killed in a parachute training exercise at Camp Pendleton, according to military officials.
Ron and Shar Pape of East Grand Forks, Minn., were notified Friday that their son, Cpl. Ryan Pape, 23, died on Thursday from injuries sustained during a low-level static line jump, KFYR reported.
Ryan joined the Marine Corps after his brother, Marine Cpl. Riley Pape, 22, (pictured below courtesy of Legacy.com) was killed in a motorcycle accident in National City in 2005, the Grand Folks Herald reported. (Pictured right) Decorated for bravery in Iraq, Riley was weeks away from discharge before he died.
“These great young guys called me ‘sir… they were the most selfless and noble guys you’d ever meet,” Mike McNamara, a Marine officer who served with Riley in Iraq, told the paper. “Ryan told me at Riley’s funeral that he wanted to join the Marines,” McNamara said.
A third brother also served with the Army in Iraq. Ross Pape is now out of the military and farming with his father, the paper reported.
The family’s pastor, the Rev. Charles Johnson of Bethany Lutheran Church told KFYR that Ryan Pape was soft-spoken but a great leader who was proud to serve his country.
“It’s just crushing … that’s the only word that fits … just crushing that they’ve lost two sons,” McNamara told the paper.
Almost a year after Riley’s death, Ron Pape left this message for his son in an online message board:
“Just thought you should know that your youngest brother Ryan, is accepted into recon school and will be there in 10 weeks. Ross made it home and is now SGT. Ross Pape. You are doing a good job watching over your brothers as they are doing fine.
Mom and I miss you and think about you often. I wonder what you would be doing today and what you would say to your brothers,” the message read.
Ryan Pape enlisted in 2005. The 23-year-old reconnaissance Marine’s personal service awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon and the National Defense Service Medal.
Details of the accident were not released. The incident is under investigation.