SALINAS (CBS SF) – An U.S. Army Ranger from Salinas was killed Saturday when insurgents attacked his unit in Afghanistan’s Logar Province, the Department of Defense announced.

24-year-old  Spc. Ricardo Cerros Jr. was killed during a heavy firefight against insurgents barricaded in a compound.

He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.

Cerros attended Everett Alvarez High School in Salinas and received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Irvine. After graduating, he joined the Army in July 2010 and the 75th Ranger Regiment in March 2011.

He trained at Fort Benning, Ga., and this was his first deployment to Afghanistan.

Lt. Col. David Hodne, commander of the regiment, released a statement on the U.S. Army website conveying his condolences to Cerros’ family.

“Spc. Ricardo Cerros was incredibly talented and a well respected member of this battalion,” Hodne said. “He was a warrior who lost his life while fighting courageously alongside his fellow Rangers. We will honor his service to our country and never forget his sacrifice.”

Cerros is survived by his father, Ricardo Cerros Sr.; stepmother, Deborah A. Cerros; and his mother, Maqueirte D. Cuevas of Gary, Ind. He is also survived by his brothers Nicholas and Marko, and sister Theresa.



(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)



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