Ronald Ariel Rodriguez
Sergeant, United States Marine Corps
Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 763-10
DOD Identifies Marine Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Sergeant Ronald A. Rodriguez, 26, of Falls Church, Virginia, died August 23, 2010, while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California.
For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the 1st Marine Division public affairs office at 760-725-6573.
By Martin Weil
Courtesy of The Washington Post
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Marine Corps Sergeant Ronald A. Rodriguez, 26, who grew up in Northern Virginia, was overseas for the third time when he was killed Monday in Afghanistan.
Rodriguez, a graduate of J.E.B. Stuart High School in the Falls Church area, was sent to Iraq in 2003. He returned there in 2004.
The Marine Corps said he was killed by a roadside bomb while in combat in Helmand province. He had been sent to Afghanistan this summer.
A cannoneer in the field artillery, Rodriguez "was a brave soldier," his father, Francisco Rodriguez, said Tuesday night. "He died on duty."
As a teenager, he was an athlete, "very active in all the sports," including soccer and basketball, his father said.
While at Quantico Marine Base, he lived in Stafford County, where a former neighbor recalled him as being quiet. "The most important thing for him was family," Hugh Beckford said.
His father said Rodriguez had a son and a stepson, and Beckford recalled them playing soccer.
Survivors include his mother, Maria, and three brothers.
Rodriguez decided to enlist before he was 18,
and, according to his father, said that withholding parental permission
would only delay his entry into the service.
U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Ronald A. Rodriguez, 26, a 2002 graduate of Falls Church's JEB Stuart High School, was killed in Afghanistan Monday by an IED blast while conducting dismounted combat operations in Helmand Province, according to a Marine Corp. press release issued yesterday. No details have been worked out yet for his burial at the Arlington National Cemetery, his mother, Maria, told the News-Press yesterday. In addition to his mother, he is survived by his father, Francisco, and three brothers who continue to reside in Falls Church.
Rodriguez was an athlete at JEB Stuart, playing soccer and basketball. He enlisted in the Marines following graduation and was deployed to Iraq in 2003, returning there in 2004. He was sent to Afghanistan last summer. Rodriguez becomes the second JEB Stuart grad and former athlete to die engaging in military operations overseas. In 2006, a 2001 JEB Stuart graduate, U.S. Army Corporal Andy D. Anderson was killed as he and a fellow soldier were building a barracks in Ar Ramadi, Iraq. Anderson had been a standout on the Stuart football team.
Condolences were sent to the Rodriguez family yesterday by Fairfax Supervisor Penelope Gross, who told the News-Press that it is Fairfax County policy to fly flags at half-mast in mourning in such cases.
She wrote, "The fact he died a hero provides some solace, I am sure, but the loss of your son is heartbreaking, nonetheless."
RODRIGUEZ, RONALD ARIEL
Posted: 26 August 2009 Updated: 21 September 2010 Updated: 24 August 2010 Updated: 29 December 2010 Updated: 5 April 2011
Photo By Eileen Horan, March 2011
Photo By Eileen Horan, December 2010
Photo By Eileen Horan, September 2010