WASHINGTON, May 16 (UPI) -- A U.S. Army Ranger who helped rescue former POW Jessica Lynch from an Iraqi hospital has died from gunshot wounds he sustained while on tour in Afghanistan.
The Department of Defense said Command Sgt. Maj. Martin R. Barreras, 49, was shot on May 6 in Herat province, Afghanistan, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces. He died at San Antonio Military Medical Center on Tuesday, the Pentagon said.
At the time of his death, Barreras was the top enlisted soldier in his Fort Bliss, Texas-based unit. He served in the Army's 75th Ranger Regiment for 22 years, including multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Barreras was said to have personally aided Lynch in rescuing her from an Iraqi hospital, where she was held along with the bodies of eight other American soldiers captured in an ambush in 2003. Barreras helped transfer Lynch to an awaiting helicopter for evacuation before returning to retrieve the eight soldiers' bodies.
He is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son.