Saturday, March 24, 2007

Adam J. Rosema dies of injuries from I.E.D.

PASADENA - Army Spc. Adam J. Rosema, 27, killed last week by a roadside blast in Iraq, died doing what he cared about most, according to his father - serving his country.

An American flag flew at half-staff in front of John Rosema's Pasadena home Monday above a black one representing the 1st Cavalry Division, with which his son deployed last October.

"What you read in the papers is not what you hear from the soldiers," said John Rosema, 57, a self-described "military man" who served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. "He felt that is doing a lot of good in Iraq."

Despite his stoic demeanor, John Rosema conceded his shock at the sudden loss of his only son.

"I'm very proud of him," he said, after initially declining to speak about his son. "It's kind of shocking right now, but I know he died doing what he wanted and doing his best."

Rosema described his son as "modest and private."

Adam Rosema, assigned to the 215th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division out of Fort Hood, Texas, died Wednesday of injuries suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during recovery operations south of Baqubah, Iraq, according to the Department of Defense.

Rosema joined the Army in April 2005 as a mechanic specializing in Bradley fighting vehicles. He deployed to Iraq this past October.

During his time in the Army, Rosema was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and Expert Marksman Badge, according to Fort Hood spokeswoman Brandy Gill.

He had attended Willard and Noyes elementary schools in Pasadena and Altadena until the seventh grade, at which time Rosema transferred to schools in Arcadia, according to the Pasadena Unified School District.

Neighbors along North Layton Street in unincorporated Pasadena, where the soldier lived with his father, expressed shock at Rosema's death Monday, nearly a week after learning of their friend and neighbor's fate.

"He's an angel guy," said a tearful Victoria Yerressiam, 55, who flew an American flag with a black ribbon from her porch. "It's very hard. I just cry."

Standing on the small veranda with her son Vatche, 27, Yerressiam motioned to the small, neat homes on the block, adding, "We are like a family here."

Next-door neighbor Orsolina Garcia, 46, remembered her own son, then 10, crying at a party she organized for Rosema before he left last year.

"My son is devastated," she said. "He's got a lot of mixed feelings. Adam was such an important part of our lives. I'm angry and sad."

John Rosema, a mechanic at General Motors who just purchased a super-size recreational vehicle that his son will never see, said he planned to "keep on living."

"Adam would have said: `Don't wait for me, I'll catch up,"' he said.

From the Star News