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Cpl. Ron Payne was born in Lakeland, Florida Dec. 31, 1980. At a young age Ron knew that he wanted to be a Marine like his father Ron Payne Sr. He excelled in football and was offered many scholarships, however Ron followed his calling and joined the Marines after graduation.

Ron was a part of the first initial push into Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He came home a different person but a determined one. He treasured his friends and men in the Marines and would do anything for them. They later would see the evidence of this when he gave his life for them. Ron re-enlisted with the Marine Corps and was sent to Afghanistan in the Spring of 2004. On May 7th deep in the desert of Afghanistan Ron's team was sent to follow a lead on a major head of Al Qaeda and on that mission Ron gave his life for his friends and for all those around him. He was the first Marine killed in combat while serving in Afghanistan. 

A part of Ron that was well known to those who loved and knew him was that he was a Christian. He was saved at a young age and attended Calvary Baptist Church in Lakeland, FL. Ron kept his Lord close to his heart whether that be here in the states, on a ship at sea, or far away in the desert of Afghanistan. Ron was known on ship for recruiting other Marines to a Bible study another friend was organizing. He shared his faith with all who knew him and relied on this faith to get him through his darkest moments. One of Ron's later entries in his journal marked March 15, 2004 was as follows:

The fear is starting to turn into excitement.  Besides what do I have to be afraid of really.  I have God on my side, and He said He will never leave us nor forsake us.  Having Him is better than any type of support or weapon that man can give. 

Ron was known to his friends as Pappa P. This is the best description of Ron because he always made a point to look out for those around him, right until his last breath. In Ron's own words, "The real heroes are those who do not come home. Remember that freedom is not free. It is paid in blood." 

His last words were that of a heavenly God's love. Ron strived to be a “Simple Man,” but to all who knew him he needed not strive to far because he truly was a Simple Man of Faith

Tributes and Condolences
Run for the FAllen- Tampa 2015   / Caroline Cornely (Supporter & Friend )
Ron was assigned to me as my "fallen hero" in the Run for the Fallen in Tampa on 9/20/2015. I am so honored to have run in his memory. I will forever keep him in my heart and remember his sacrifice for me and his countrymen. I pray that his family i...  Continue >>
Checking in   / Anthony Rubio (Brother in Arms )
Haven't forgotten that night, R.I.P. Brother...Doc Rubio
Greater love has no man than this  / Cynthia Gill (friend of the Flynn family, Aaron Flynn was with Ron in Afghanistan )    Read >>
Click here to pay tribute or offer your condolences
His legacy
Cpl. Ron Payne Ministries  

Through the loss of Ron his parents, Aileen and Ronnie Payne have reached out to other parents and families who have suffered the same loss that they have. Each year they have a special Memorial Day service at their church, Calvary Baptist Church in Lakeland, Florida. They honor those who have passed in the line of duty and minister with their faith and love. Ronnie and Aileen have spoken at several events regarding veterans and what it means to have a love one not come home from war.

Ronnie and Aileen have also traveled to many Veterans hospital to minister to those service men and women who have been wounded in the line of duty.

They have taken up Ron's torch and love of people to spend their lives making others feel loved and supported in such a hard time.

For more information or to  book the Payne’s as your speaking guests please email them at: 

Ronald's Photo Album
Ricky Thompson and Ron on his last Birthday 03'
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