The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Sgt. Cesar B. Ruiz, 26, of San Antonio, Texas, died Oct. 31 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Marine Forces Reserve. This is the young Marine sergeant I mentioned in an earlier post-he leaves a widow, 3 year old and a newborn. Note he was a reserve Marine who had been recalled only a month ago from his civilian work as a builder after previously serving 6 years on active service with previous tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was a combat engineer. Deaths like Sgt. Ruiz's reflect the total force concept of the USMC where reserves and regulars are interchanged without regard to such status. It speaks volumes about how optempo is straining the force overall and how well trained the USMC reserve forces are and how motivated the reserve Marines are.