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Marine from Falls Church killed by bomb in Afghanistan

Marines carry the transfer case containing the remains of Sgt. Ronald A. Rodriguez at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Tuesday. Rodriguez, of Falls Church, was killed Monday while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Rodriquez was 26 years old.
Marines carry the transfer case containing the remains of Sgt. Ronald A. Rodriguez at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Tuesday. Rodriguez, of Falls Church, was killed Monday while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Rodriquez was 26 years old. (Steve Ruark/associated Press)

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By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Marine Corps Sgt. Ronald A. Rodriguez, 26, who grew up in Northern Virginia, was overseas for the third time when he was killed Monday in Afghanistan.

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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.


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