Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rel A. Ravago IV, Army, Specialist -- Rest In Peace

Rel A. Ravago IV, 21

Army, Specialist
Based: Ft. Campbell, Ky.
1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: November 23, 2003
Mosul, Iraq
Gender: Male
Hometown: Glendale
High School: Hoover High (Glendale)
November 30, 2003

In an e-mail message from Iraq earlier this month, Army Spc. Rel Allen Ravago IV told his family in Glendale how proud he was of his new job as a driver for a high-ranking military official.

The following day, Ravago, 21, and Command Sgt. Maj. Jerry L. Wilson, 45, of Thompson, Ga., were fatally shot in Mosul "when hostile forces attacked the vehicle they were in on Nov. 23," military officials said.

After graduating in 2000, Ravago joined the Army, which puzzled his family. Because he was a talented artist, his family thought he would enroll in art school. Before his deployment to Iraq in February, his family said, he told them that he was afraid.

But this summer he wrote and said, "I'm not scared anymore," said his aunt, Arlynn Solis, 44. "If you see the faces of the kids, it will warm your heart. Now I know I have to be here; otherwise, they won't have a future."

"He wanted to serve his country," his father said.

In addition to his parents and sister, he is survived by his grandparents, Rel Junsay and Rebecca Ravago of Glendale, and Eleanor Florendo and Leopoldo Ongcapin of Marina del Rey; three aunts; two uncles; and eight cousins.
Read the whole LA Times article about Army Specialist Rel A. Ravago IV, here; read more about Sergeant Ravago here and see more memories here:
"I never knew Rel, but I hear of him all the time. My best friend, my brother, Shawn Parlett, was with him in Iraq. Here it is 7 years later, and I never get tired of hearing the stories. Shawn is a Baltimore City Police Officer now, and he would rather leave his house in the morning without his vest than without his bracelet with Rel's name on it. It never leaves his wrist, and the memories never leave him behind. My deepest sympathy to Rel's family and friends, and my gratitude for the sacrifice of those men greater than myself. GFBD."
Raymond Rogers of Baltimore, MD

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