Home Honor Roll Sponsors Join Links SitRep Members Guestbook
Force Recon Association
1st Force Reconnaissance Company
In Memory of

Cpl Ryan L. Pape
Died: December 3, 2009

Minnesota Marine dies in parachute exercise
StarTribune.com Minneapolis-St. Paul
December 6, 2009 - 7:57 AM

A Marine from East Grand Forks, Minn., died Thursday in a parachute training exercise at Camp Pendleton, Calif., the Marine Corps said Saturday.

Cpl. Ryan L. Pape, 23, died of injuries suffered during a low-level static line jump.

Pape, a reconnaissance Marine, enlisted in 2005. His service awards included the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon and the National Defense Service Medal.

The Grand Forks Herald reported that Pape was the son of Ron and Sharleen Pape of East Grand Forks. The Papes, who declined to comment, have lost two military sons. Ryan's brother Riley, also a Marine corporal, died in May 2005 in a motorcycle accident in California. He was 22.

Ryan and Riley both served in Iraq, as has a surviving brother, Ross Pape, the Herald reported.

CAMP PENDLETON: Marine dies in parachuting exercise
By LUCIA WALINCHUS nctimes.com
Saturday, December 5, 2009 3:50 pm

CAMP PENDLETON---- A Marine died in a parachute training exercise Thursday night at Camp Pendleton, said Marine spokesman 2nd Lt. Joshua Benson.

Cpl. Ryan L. Pape, 23, died during a low-level static line parachute jump, a maneuver where soldiers' chutes are supposed to deploy as soon as they jump from the plane.

The cause of the accident and details of the death have not been released. The Naval Safety Center has suspended all parachuting for 1st Reconnaissance Battalion until a full investigation has been completed.

Pape, originally from East Grand Forks, Minn., had served in the Marine Corps for four years, including at least one stint in Iraq. Pate most recently served in Force Company, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force.

His personal service awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

East Grand Forks family loses two military sons
Chuck Haga , Grand Forks Herald
December 05 2009

EAST GRAND FORKS — An East Grand Forks family has lost a second military son to a noncombat incident.

Marine Cpl. Ryan Pape, 23, died Thursday during a training exercise at Camp Pendleton in California, according to information received by the family.

Pape had served tours in Iraq, according to family friends.

Two Marines were dispatched Friday from Wahpeton, N.D., to deliver the news of his death to his parents, Ron and Shar Pape. No additional information on the training exercise was immediately available.

On May 18, 2005, Marine Cpl. Riley Pape, a decorated veteran of fighting in Iraq's Anbar province, was killed in a motorcycle accident, also in California. He was 22.

A third brother, Ross, who served with the Army in Iraq, is out of the military and farming with his father.

Members of the family gathered Friday at the Pape home, where through a spokesman they declined to talk about their latest loss.

Mike McNamara, who as a Marine officer served with Riley Pape in Iraq, spent several hours with the family Friday.

“These great young guys called me ‘sir,' ” McNamara said. “They were the most selfless and noble guys you'd ever meet.”

McNamara, a Grand Forks City Council member and radio personality, had called in to his station from Iraq one day when Ron Pape called in and asked him to check on his son, Riley.

“I got to meet him, and I got to know him,” he said, and they made plans to get together again when both came home. After Riley was killed, McNamara said he went to the Pape home and met Riley's parents and brother Ryan.

“Ryan told me at Riley's funeral that he wanted to join the Marines,” McNamara said.

“It's just crushing … that's the only word that fits … just crushing that they've lost two sons.”

The family's pastor, the Rev. Charles “Bud” Johnson of Bethany Lutheran Church, also was with the Pape family much of the day.

“Ryan was quiet, soft-spoken, but he was a leader,” said Claudia Johnson, the pastor's wife. “He was active in church and school activities, and he was a very dedicated Marine — patriotic, very proud to serve his country.

“He was also very proud to be a farmer,” she said. “But after his brother was killed, he wanted to go into the military.”

The family was “devastated” by Riley's death, she said.

“Now, two sons, both Marines, tragically killed … I don't know how you handle that, except that this is a very strong family with a strong faith,” she said. “And they have many friends who will help them through this.”

Dangerous places

When he was home on leave in November 2004, Riley Pape told the Herald it was difficult to watch the heavy fighting around Falujah on TV — though he was proud to have been part of a Marine reconnaissance unit that had gathered intelligence reports on insurgent strength and activities there.

“They are all my brothers over there, every single one of them, and watching it on the news is tough, not being there,” he said.

“Iraq is a dangerous place. You have to go into every city and treat it as, ‘This could be my last trip. This could be my last breath.' ”

At the time, Ross was in the Army and Ryan, then 18 and a high school senior, had enlisted in the Marines and was scheduled to start boot camp as soon as he graduated.

Their father talked about having three sons in uniform.

“Sometimes it's good, and sometimes it's not so good,” Ron Pape said in 2004. “It depends on where they are and what they're doing. When we had two of them in Iraq, there were some sleepless nights.”