Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Luis O. Rodriguez-Contrera dies of injuries from I.E.D.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - March 6, 2007 - The mother of a Pennsylvania soldier killed in Iraq says her son said there was no reason for the United States' being in that country. But, she says, "he had his duty, and his duty was basically to protect his country."

The Defense Department says 22-year-old Specialist Luis Rodriguez-Contrera of Allentown and 28-year-old Staff Sergeant Paul Latourney of Roselle, Illinois, died Friday in Baghdad when a roadside bomb exploded near their vehicle.

Rodriguez-Contrera's wife, Monica, who is five months pregnant with a boy, says the two soldiers were on combat patrol when the blast occurred. She says her husband had volunteered for patrol duty despite the fact it was his day off.

The men were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas.

Rodriguez-Contrera joined the Army in August 2005 and arrived at Fort Hood for training in January 2006. Before leaving for Iraq in November, his wife says, he had promised that he would return safely. She says he was a tank driver who "wanted to come back and go to college so he could drive the helicopters."

Rodriguez has two older children.

From WPVI 6