Army SPC
Lansing, MI
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Memorial Location: 

Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens
5401 N. Michigan
Lansing, MI

Killed by an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Fallujah, Iraq.

Assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 62nd Air Defense Artillery, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Ft Drum, NY.

Richard (Ricky) H. Rosas was born in Lansing, Michigan, on August 24, 1982, and was the third of six children born to Paula and Gilbert Rosas. Ricky made his parents very proud with his high expectations for life. He loved to fish and play sports and was a guard on the basketball team and a receiver on the football team at St. Louis High School. Ricky’s family had a history of military service with his two grandfathers serving in World War II and one of them going on to fight in Korea. His father and an uncle fought in Vietnam with his uncle making the ultimate sacrifice in that war. It was no surprise that immediately after graduating from high school he enlisted in the U.S. Army.

He attended Advanced Infantry Training at Fort Bliss, Texas, and after graduating on November 13, 2002, was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) at Fort Drum, New York. On September 3, 2003, Ricky deployed for his first tour in Iraq. Two months later he was injured when an improvised explosive device hit the Humvee in front of his vehicle. PFC Rosas was awarded the Purple Heart for his injuries and spent a week in the hospital recovering.

On February 16, 2004, Ricky returned home on a two-week leave. During this time he attended a doctor’s appointment for his unborn child and was able to listen to the baby’s heartbeat. He also attended the baby shower and purchased baby furniture and assembled it with his father. On March 31, 2004, Ricky got new that his wife was in labor and called the hospital every hour hoping to hear the cry of his child. He was so proud when he heard that first cry that he wasted no time in telling everyone that he was a Father!!

While serving his country Ricky became known as the “preacher,” as he shared the word of God with his fellow soldiers. He also became well known or his smile and his positive outlook on life. On May 25, 2004, PFC Richard Rosas made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Performing escort duty for a high ranking Iraqi official, PFC Rosas and two other American soldiers were killed when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device.

After his death many of PFC Rosas’ fellow soldiers kept in contact with his family. SPC Adam McKenney told them, “He was a great friend and a great soldier.” Another soldier, PFC Spencer Ryan wrote, “Ricky was a purely respectful, well-rounded, squared away young man.”

Ricky’s daughter Skye Victoria Rosas, turned five years old on March 31, 2009 and although she never met her hero father, his memory will be kept alive through pictures and stories. She will know that her father was a “Proud American Soldier.”

PFC Richard H. Rosas’ awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart Medal (second award), the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon, Basic Marksmanship Qualification Badge (Expert – Machine Gun).

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