State News

82nd Airborne Paratrooper Dies of Wounds in Iraq

Posted October 6, 2007
Updated October 7, 2007

— An 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper died of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated while his unit was on a dismounted patrol in Baghdad, Iraq on Thursday, military officials said.

Sgt. Ricardo Rodriguez of Arecibo, Puerto Rico, was a recipient of the Bronze Star Medal. He served as a gunner with 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team.

“He was a leader and a teacher to his soldiers, and his loss will be deeply felt for a long time,” Spc. Nathan Shambo, a member of Rodriguez's unit, said. “Most importantly, though, he was a son ... and a father.”

Rodriguez joined the Army in May 2004 and completed basic and airborne training at Fort Benning, Georgia. He was assigned to the 82nd Airborne in April 2005.

His decorations include a Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge and Parachutist’s Badge.

Rodriguez is survived by his parents, Ernesto and Anabelle Fernandez, and a son, Ricardo, all of Arecibo.

“He will be remembered for many different things,” Shambo said. “Sgt. Rodriguez will always be know for the person and American soldier that he was.”


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  • parawife Oct 7, 2007

    It's sad that it takes losing a soldier for America to appreciate the sacrafice they make for our freedom.God bless this family and all past present and future families that must endure this pain.An 82nd airborne wife.

  • peacebee Oct 7, 2007

    Also, keep in mind that this article could be read by the grieving family, and they might even read these comments to gain support, kind words, and strength to move on. What would you want to hear if it were your significant other or child? There is a time and place for everything, and sometimes it is a good chance to support, bless, build up, and offer kindness.

  • RonnieR Oct 7, 2007

    Bones, PR is a US possession and he was a US citizen.
    Stroll somewhere and learn what is US and what isn't.

  • peacebee Oct 7, 2007

    My prayers and sympathies to the family of the young man.

  • doubletrouble Oct 7, 2007

    For those that "don't" know, (Bones)- Puerto Rico is a commonweath of the United States. This hero was serving the country of his citizenship. He went where his country asked, and paid the ultimate price. Regardless of political views, this soldier died for HIS country...and his memory should be with honor, not dispute.

    My heart goes out to the family.

  • -info- Oct 7, 2007

    ifcdirector..I realize its not pc but SHUT UP...........from a military spouse.......oh and meatless opps strolling bones, this is from a hispanic military es loco en la besa, comprende?

  • tmedlin Oct 7, 2007

    Rest in peace, american hero, thank you and your family for your service
    ifcdirector - not the time or place...

  • ifcdirector Oct 7, 2007

    Another needless death that will accomplish absolutely nothing in Bush's war for empire. When are the people of this country going to rise up and demand an end to this endless insanity? Where does it say in our Constitution that we are to supposed to preemptively attack other countries that never attacked our country for the sake of the United Nations? I don't get it.

  • donndeboer Oct 7, 2007

    Vaya con Dios, hermano. I'll pray for your family.

  • Xscout577 Oct 7, 2007

    Rest in peace, Sgt. Rodriguez.

    (Please, everbody TRY to overlook the moronic statement made by stolling bones)