Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Damian Lopez Rodriguez dies of injuries from I.E.D.

Army Pvt. Damian Lopez Rodriguez was so thrilled to be a soldier that before he left for Iraq, he paid a visit to his old Tucson high school to show off his uniform to the office staff.

"He was very proud to be serving his country," said Gloria Zamorano, an attendance secretary at Pueblo Magnet High School.

"I had a bad feeling so I hugged him extra hard," Zamorano recalled of the soldier's visit last summer. "I was thinking, 'Don't go.'"

On Good Friday, her nagging fear was realized. Rodriguez, a drummer in his high school drumline, was killed in action in Baghdad. The 19-year-old graduated from Pueblo in 2005.
He is the 30th service member with ties to Tucson and Southern Arizona to be claimed by conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the first Pueblo graduate felled.

"Some of our teachers were hit hard by this," Pueblo Principal Patricia Dienz said Tuesday, the day after the Defense Department announced the death. Rodriguez was one of three soldiers killed when their Humvee was hit by a homemade bomb during combat operations, the Pentagon said.

From the Star