Friday, May 13, 2011

Rhys W. Klasno, Army National Guard, Sergeant -- Rest In Peace

Rhys W. Klasno, 20

Army National Guard, Sergeant
Based: Bakersfield
1114th Transportation Company
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: May 13, 2007
Haditha, Iraq
Married, 1 child
Gender: Male
Hometown: Riverside
High School: Woodcrest Christian High School (Riverside)
Burial: Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside

Rhys became close friends with my son in the 5th grade. He was a unique young man who was very confident and self-assured even at a young age. When his parents tried to talk him out of joining the National Guard he would not be deterred. It was something he felt a deep passion about doing. He cited John 15:13, 'No greater love has any man than to lay down his life for his friends.'
The mission Rhys was on the day he died was one he volunteered for. Whenever help was needed he was there. He was truly one of the finest and best of young men and should never be forgotten.
— Doris Diaz
May 27, 2008 at 1:50 a.m.
When we got to Fort Bliss, TX, before the unit shipped to Iraq, I told Rhys and the rest of the soldiers that we cannot choose the time and fashion of our passing, so the important thing is not how we died, but rather how we lived. Few of us have lived so well as Rhys. To be admired and respected by all who met him, even at such a young age, is a mark of honor. I'm proud I could serve with this great American, this amazing human being, however briefly. I miss him. The world is diminished since he left us.
— Major Ken Koop
January 11, 2009 at 6:11 p.m.
On May 13, however, he was killed when a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle in Haditha, northwest of Baghdad.

"He went off to do what his country asked him to do," Klasno's father, Michael, said of his son, a devout Christian who led a Bible study group for troops in Iraq.

He said his son never felt conflicted about serving there. "He told me, 'This is what the country needs and this is what God is telling me to do.' "

Klasno, the 24th California National Guardsman to be killed in action since the Sept. 11 attacks, was posthumously promoted from specialist to sergeant. In addition to his wife and father, he is survived by his mother, Lynn Jardinico of Moreno Valley.
Read the entire LA Times article about Army National Guard, Sergeant Rhys William Klasno here. Find more about Rhys William Klasno at Military Times and at his mother's blog Sgt Rhys William Klasno.

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