Monday, August 06, 2007

More About Spc. Cristian Rojas-Gallego, our fallen Hero

Found this in the online version of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution a few minutes ago. (Emphasis added by me)

24-year-old Loganville soldier killed in Iraq

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/06/07

A former Georgia Marine who joined the U.S. Army to support his growing family has been killed in Iraq less than a year after re-enlisting.

Spc. Cristian Rojas-Gallego, 24, of Loganville was one of three soldiers who died Thursday in Baghdad after an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle, the Department of Defense confirmed Monday.

The other dead soldiers are Staff Sgt. Fernando Santos, 29, of San Antonio, Texas, and Spc. Eric. D. Salinas, 25, of Houston.

All three were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Wash.

Rojas-Gallego joined the Army on July 20, 2006, after learning his wife, Megan, was pregnant with their third child, said Eduardo Rojas, one of his three siblings.

The soldier had been unable to make enough money to support his family through the odd jobs he worked after leaving the Marine Corps, his brother said. Rojas-Gallego served four years as a Marine, including three tours in Iraq.

He served in the infantry, having first enlisted at age 19.

The Iraq war interrupted Rojas-Gallego's efforts to earn a high school diploma while a Marine, his brother said.

Rojas-Gallego's awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and Combat Infantryman Badge.

A funeral service tentatively is planned for Wednesday.

What an amazing Hero and great American! I am so, so sad... my heart & prayers truly goes out to his family.

IF the article is correct (big if) and IF his funeral is held Wednesday (or any other day during the work week)... I will not be able to attend, or stand by the side of the road holding a flag wtih the other Loganville residents (if it were to take place in Loganville... I don't know if that will be the case???)..... Regardless, I am going to be very very deeply sad if I'm not able to be there in one form or another, to honor him. I can't call out of work... I've used up all my leave time for this year, as well as some of next year's time, too (thanks to my pneumonia (2 weeks), my trip to DC (one week) and hubby's heat stroke a couple months ago (one week & a day), and 2 or 3 days for my final exams in between the pneumonia and the trip to DC. I won't be able to voluntarily take a day off again until sometime after the first of the year, unless I'm gravely ill (and I'll pass on that, thank you very much.) Dang it. :-(

If the family or more of his friends stumble across this, know that whatever day his funeral is, you WILL be in my prayers, and the prayers of so many more than you can imagine. ((((hugs))) We love you and are here for you, always.


Queen of Dysfunction said...

What can you say to these families? I couldn't imagine anything that would comfort them outside of knowing that their loved ones died for a purpose.

Kat said...

QoD... it's not a matter of really 'saying' anything... like you said, what can one say? But I've witnessed, and heard from the families themselves, that when the community shows up in full force to show their support - lining the streets holding flags, etc.... it somehow does indeed make a difference. It's not the 'saying' - it the 'being there' that can bring comfort.

SK said...

What an amazing young man indeed. There are simply no words for his loved ones.

RIP Spc. Rojas-Gallego

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