March 17th - SCHOFIELD BARRACKS – A 1-14th Soldier was killed Friday
afternoon while conducting live-fire training at Pohakuloa Training
Area on the Island of Hawaii. The cause of the accident is under
Staff Sgt. Oscar Rodriguez, 27, a Beeville, Texas native was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division’s 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment.
Rodriguez was transported via Blackhawk to Hilo Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5:35 p.m.
Rodriguez joined the Army in January 1996 and was assigned to Schofield Barracks in October 2002. He deployed to Iraq with the 2nd Brigade in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Rodriguez is survived by his wife and son.
A memorial service was held on Thursday at the Post Main Chapel.
SAN DIEGO - An impressive military career came to an abrupt end last Friday when Army Staff Sergeant Oscar Rodriguez died in a training accident in Hawaii. Saturday afternoon, the body of the Coastal Bend native and Iraqi war veteran returned home.
just 26, Staff Sgt. Rodriguez managed to rise through the ranks at a
remarkable pace which his family attributes to his dedication as a
soldier. The Beeville native already served one tour in Iraq and was
training for another, when something went terribly wrong.
Staff Sergeant Oscar Rodriguez specialized in using mortars to escort and assist convoys in Iraq. It was during a live fire exercise at a Hawaii barracks that Rodriguez was fatally wounded after a mortar exploded prematurely.
Before his death, Rodriguez chose to be buried alongside relatives in San Diego if anything ever happened. That's where residents lined the streets for his arrival.
"It's kind of painful, you know," said Juan A. Perez. Painful partly because San Diego is now the resting place for three soldiers killed in the Iraqi war effort.
The first was Jose Amancio Perez, III - killed in May of 2003. The second, Ruben Valdez, Jr. in April of 2004 and now Rodriguez, who despite having few connections to the town of roughly 5,000, still brought signs up support. Styrofoam cups on a chain-linked fence and a parade of flags to pay their respect.
"We welcome them with open arms, the family, to show that we do support them...whether we know them or not," Perez said.
"When they're from around the community, or this area, we have a tendency to go out there and give our support to the family and friends," said veteran Chevy Reyes. Supporters believe a soldier's sacrifice should be honored by all who can.
Oscar's brother said he thanks the town of San Diego for the kind of support he's never seen before. A rosary is scheduled for Sunday night at 7 p.m. at the Garza Funeral Home in San Diego. The funeral service will be held Monday at 10 a.m. at St. Francis De Paula Church followed by burial at the San Diego Cemetery.
Staff Sgt. Rodriguez leaves behind a wife and a five-month-old son.
Online Reporter: Bart Bedsole
SAN DIEGO - Friends, family and fellow soldiers were in San Diego Monday to say goodbye to Staff Sergeant Oscar Rodriguez. He died nearly two weeks ago in a training accident in Hawaii.
As the body of Staff Sergeant Oscar Rodriguez made its way inside this tiny San Diego Church, mourners followed behind, remembering the 26-year-old Beeville native and Iraqi war veteran, who was training in Hawaii for another tour in the Middle East.
"Everything is finished for him right here in this world. Now taking a place that Jesus Christ preferred in the kingdom of the father for all the people that believe in him," said Father Epifanio Rodriguez.
There was very little talk about his work on the battlefield, escorting and assisting convoys in Iraq, but plenty of talk about the memories he leaves behind.
"He was an inspiration for everything good he has done in these short years he has given to the world."
Eternal life was the theme of the mass and everyone who came to pay their final respects, will never forget the father, husband and soldier, Staff Sergeant Oscar Rodriguez.
"His memory will continue in new life," said Fr. Rodriguez.
After the funeral mass, Staff Sergeant Rodriguez was buried at the cemetery in San Diego. Stephanie Rodriguez said one final goodbye to her husband, Staff Sergeant Oscar Rodriguez. Other family members mourned along with her - most in shock.
just can't believe it's real. It'll take a while to get over it...never
over but you know remember him and know he's in a good place. He served
his country and that's what he wanted to do," said Amy De La Garza.
"He was a caring loving person and he loved being in the Army, I mean he really loved being in the army. He was a good cousin, he was a good brother, a good husband and he loved being a father," said Jessica Rodriguez.
Staff Sergeant Rodriguez leaves behind a four-month-old son named Jacob.
was a wonderful person and that he was happy where he was and he loves
his family and his wife and his baby and he'll always watch over them
and us," De La Garza said. After surviving a tour of duty in Iraq, he
was in Hawaii for more training to eventually return to the
"It's just weird, he went to war and he came back and dies in an accident. I think that's the hardest part for us," Jessica said.
Now his fellow soldiers will go on without a comrade in battle. A mother will go on without her son and a wife will go on without her husband and the love of her life.
Online Reporter: Shaun Hegarty