The Department of Defense announced today the death a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Lance Cpl. Matthew R. Rodriguez, 19, of Fairhaven, Mass., died Dec. 11, while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
He was assigned to 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.
For more information, media may contact the 1st Marine Division Public Affairs Office during duty hours at 760-725-8766 and after duty hours at 760-468-9895. DoD News Release
|R.I.P. Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Rodriguez my hero, my marine, but most importantly my big brother. — @Adam_JosephR Twitter|
“He was my little brother and my family’s hero,” Lauren Weber said, pushing back the ache in her voice with a kind of valiant joy.
“Matt was the kindest, the nicest and most genuine person I will ever know. He loved his three nieces and they adored him. He had a girl who loved him and family who adored him.”
Lauren Weber described a younger brother who, in Marine parlance, could best be described as a squared-away gentleman. Along with his parents, who flew to Delaware to greet the body, was the love of Matthew Rodriguez’s life, the hometown girl he planned to marry, Julia Tapper. Young Marine’s death a reminder war’s not over (Boston Herald)
Rodriguez's father served in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968.
"He wished he could be half the Marine my dad was. He loved him very much and that's a big reason why he joined," Alex Rodriguez said.
Now the father who inspired his boy to serve his country is overwhelmed with emotion.
"It brought some bad memories back from a long time ago," said Rolando Rodriguez. Community mourns Marine Matthew Rodriguez, 19, killed in Afghanistan (WCVB)
|I love you Matt more than you could ever imagine. Ya we fought but which siblings dont. You will forever be my hero no matter what. — @Adam_JosephR Instagram|
The 19-year-old was a 2012 graduate of Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School, where he specialized in plumbing.
“[He was] a really good boy, very excited about graduating, and very excited about going into the service,” the school’s superintendent, Linda Enos, told the WBUR Newsroom.
Rodriguez had been assigned to Camp Pendleton in California. Marine From Fairhaven Is Killed In Afghanistan (WBUR)
Rodriguez enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 2012.
His personal awards include the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and NATO Medal- ISAF Afghanistan. Pendleton Marine, 19, killed in Afghanistan (UT San Diego)
1st Combat Engineer Battalion deployed to Afghanistan earlier this fall, taking over for 3rd CEB in a transfer of authority ceremony at Camp Leatherneck on Oct. 21. Rodriguez’s death is the first Marine Corps casualty in Afghanistan since October. Marine combat engineer killed in Afghanistan (Marine Corps Times)
Cpl. Rodriguez' father, Roland Rodriguez, said the family is headed for Dover Air Force Base in Delaware where the body was expected Saturday. Fairhaven marine killed in Afghanistan (South Coast Today)
A school friend, Ryan Boswell, told the newspaper Rodriguez "was a very funny guy, very likable. He was just a great kid. He would do anything for anybody."
His teacher Oscar Amaral also remembers Rodriguez's "easy going" personality. Amaral told the Standard-Times that Rodriguez had wanted to serve in the military. Marine from Fairhaven killed in Afghanistan (My Fox Boston)
In Fairhaven Thursday night, the town’s Board of Selectmen observed a moment of silence to honor Rodriguez.
Selectman Robert J. Espindola said Rodriguez was a “fine young man.” “It’s just a terrible shame,” he said. “He paid the ultimate sacrifice.” US Marine from Fairhaven killed in Afghanistan (Boston Globe)
|I wish I could have told him I love him one last time. — @Adam_JosephR Twitter|
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