Friday, March 18, 2011

Ricardo Barraza, Army, Staff Sergeant -- Rest In Peace

Ricardo Barraza, 24

Army, Staff Sergeant
Based: Ft. Lewis, Wash.
2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: March 18, 2006
Ramadi, Iraq
Gender: Male
Hometown: Shafter
High School: Shafter High (Shafter)
Burial: Hillcrest Memorial Park, Bakersfield
A true patriot, a funny dude and damn good Ranger...We all strived to follow his lead...
Rangers Lead The Way!
— Henry Garcia
August 18, 2008 at 4:51 p.m.
I served with Ricardo until October 2002. You couldn't find a better soldier or friend. Ricardo left this world doing what he loved to do. RLTW Ricky!!!
— Jason Richerson
September 7, 2008 at 2:15 a.m.
After six tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, Army Staff Sgt. Ricardo Barraza was scheduled to return home to Shafter, Calif., this month and to marry his fiancee in May.

Instead, Barraza, 24, was returned home for burial Friday at Bakersfield's Hillcrest Memorial Hill of Valor.

Barraza, a squad leader in the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Ft. Lewis, Wash., was killed by small-arms fire March 18 in Ramadi, Iraq, west of Baghdad. Sgt. Dale G. Brehm, 23, of Turlock, Calif., who was wounded with him, died March 19.

"I am proud of my son; he will always be my hero," his mother, Nina Barraza, said through a family spokeswoman and friend, Donna Smith. Too heartbroken to speak, his mother, a grocery store clerk, and his Spanish-speaking father, Fransisco Barraza, a contractor, asked Smith and Shafter Police Chief John Anthony Zrofsky to speak for the family.

When Barraza came home on a furlough in October, his mother tried to talk him out of reenlisting, Zrofsky said. But he told her his duty was in Iraq with his men, the police chief said. Barraza returned to Iraq on Nov. 11 -- the last time his family saw him.

Barraza's death has shaken the residents of Shafter, a close-knit community of 14,000, Zrofsky said.

Barraza is the first soldier from Shafter to die in action since the Vietnam War, he said.

In addition to his parents, Barraza is survived by two sisters, Amanda and Rachel Barraza, both of Shafter; another sister, Jamie Barraza, and a brother, Frankie Barraza, both of Sunnyside, Wash.; and his fiancee, Maghan K. Harrington and her daughter, Kayla, of Lacey, Wash., according to the 75th Ranger Regiment.
Read the entire LA Times article about Army Staff Sergeant Ricardo Barraza here,
find more at Fallen Heroes
and at the Rangers Lead The Way page
Visit Sergeant Barraza's Guest Book.

Sergeant Dale Gregory Michael Brehm

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