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Gregory A. Rodriguez
Sergeant First Class, United States Army
Michigan State Flag
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
News Release

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 746-08
September 05, 2008

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Sergeant Fitrst Class Gregory A. Rodriguez, 35, of Weidman, Michigan, died September 2, 2008, of wounds suffered in Ana Kalay, Afghanistan, when his mounted patrol came under small arms fire. He was assigned to the K-9 unit of the 527th Military Police Company, 709th Military Police Battalion, 18th MP Brigade, Ansbach, Germany.

For further information media may contact the 21st Theater Sustainment Command public affairs office at 011-49-631-413-8184.



Courtesy of the Mount Pleasant (Michigan) Sun:

WEIDMAN, Michigan -- The widow of a U.S. soldier from Michigan killed in Afghanistan says he will be buried next week at Arlington National Cemetery.

Army Sergeant First Class Gregory A. Rodriguez, 35, died Tuesday of wounds suffered in Ana Kalay, Afghanistan, when his mounted patrol came under small-arms fire. He was a native of Weidman, about 50 miles north of Lansing in Isabella County.

"I asked Greg if anything ever happened to him where he'd prefer to be buried," his wife Laura Rodriguez told the Morning Sun of Mount Pleasant, "and he told me Arlington, as he wanted to be among the best and the brave."

Rodriguez, an avid Detroit Red Wings fan, graduated from Mount Pleasant High School in 1991 and joined the Army Reserve about three years later. He liked the military life and became an active duty soldier in 1996, his wife said.

Survivors include Laura, their three young children and his mother, Virginia Richardson of Lake Isabella.

The family now lives at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, site of the military's working-dog programs. Rodriguez was assigned to the K-9 unit of the 527th Military Police Company, 709th Military Police Battalion, 18th MP Brigade, Ansbach, Germany.

His dog Jacko survived the ambush and Laura Rodriguez said she hoped the dog could come live with the family. "He was Greg's best companion for the past couple of years," she said.

Services for Rodriguez are planned in San Antonio and Mount Pleasant but have not been scheduled.


7 September 2008
By MARK RANZENBERGER 
Courtesy of the Mount Pleasant (Michigan) Sun

The military policeman from Weidman killed in action in Afghanistan will be buried next week in Arlington National Cemetery. 

Sergeant First Class Gregory A. Rodriguez, 35, died when his unit came under fire in central Afghanistan on Tuesday, according to the Department of Defense.

"I asked Greg if anything ever happened to him where he'd prefer to be buried," said his wife, Laura Rodriguez, "and he told me Arlington, as he wanted to be among the best and the brave."

Sergeant Rodriguez graduated from Mt. Pleasant High School in 1991. He didn't immediately join the service, his wife said.

But about three years later, he joined the Army Reserve. The military life agreed with him, and he went on full-time active duty in December 1996. "We have been stationed in Hawaii, Missouri, Alaska, Texas, and Germany," Laura said. She is a native of Merrill.

Laura now lives in San Antonio, Texas, site of Lackland Air Force Base, which houses the military's working dog programs. Her husband was a military police dog handler.

Sergeant Rodriguez and his dog, Jacko (pronounced "Jocko"), were a military special search dog team. Jacko survived the ambush in Ana Kalay, Afghanistan, and Laura said she hopes the Pentagon will release the dog to the family.

"He was Greg's best companion for the past couple of years," she said. "He'd been sleeping with Greg every night since they landed in Afghanistan."

The team was assigned to the K-9 unit of the 527th Military Police Co., 709th Military Police Battalion, 18th MP Brigade, based in Ansbach, Germany.

Sergeant Rodriguez's mother, Virginia Richardson of Lake Isabella, is a support staff member at Chippewa Hills High School. Chippewa Hills Superintendent Shirley Howard said she and another staffer helped the military team that delivered the news find the Richardson home, and staffers at Chippewa Hills have given donations for the family.

Greg and Laura Rodriguez were married in Honolulu in January 1999, and have three young children.

"Greg is the best dad, a loving husband, and an awesome soldier who loved being able to train and handle his K9 companions," Laura said.

"Rod," as he was known to his Army buddies, was a Red Wings fan who loved to hassle fans of other hockey teams he met during his military career, she said.

"Greg loved to push everyone's buttons and get people going with his rare, unique sense of sarcasm," she said. At the same time, her husband was "a very committed, loyal individual and could be counted on whenever needed."

Fred Dorr, president of the Vietnam Dog Handlers Association, said a memorial service was being scheduled for Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

A Mt. Pleasant memorial service also is likely to take place, but has not yet been scheduled.



A Loyal Soldier Is Mourned
MP Sergeant From Michigan Was Killed in Afghanistan
By Mark Berman
Courtesy Of The Washington Post
Tuesday, September 16, 2008

When early reports suggested that Gregory A. Rodriguez was a hero who took a bullet that would have struck another soldier, those who knew him probably weren't surprised. He was committed and loyal, someone who could be counted on whenever he was needed, those who knew him said.

Yesterday, Sergeant First Class Rodriguez was honored for his sacrifice in services at Arlington National Cemetery. Rodriguez, 35, of Weidman, Michigan, died September 2, 2008, of wounds suffered in Ana Kalay, Afghanistan, when his mounted patrol came under small arms fire.

His wife, Laura M. Rodriguez, told the Morning Sun of Mount Pleasant, Michigan, that he wanted his final resting place to be Arlington.

"I asked Greg if anything ever happened to him where he'd prefer to be buried, and he told me Arlington, as he wanted to be among the best and the brave," she said.

Rodriguez was the 501st member of the military killed in Iraq or Afghanistan to be buried at Arlington. He was assigned to the K-9 unit of the 527th Military Police Company, 709th Military Police Battalion, 18th MP Brigade, based at Ansbach, Germany.

More than 100 mourners stood before a backdrop of floral arrangements and wreaths to pay tribute to Rodriguez. They joined members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment from Fort Myer who waited at the gravesite along with four dogs from the same regiment.

A chaplain, Major David Baum, welcomed mourners and talked about the white tombstones around them and the sacrifice they represented, weaving Rodriguez into that tapestry. Rodriguez was buried in Section 60 of the cemetery, along with many other casualties of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rodriguez's wife and his mother, Virginia Richardson, received flags from Brig. General Jeffrey Phillips.

Rodriguez graduated from Mount Pleasant High School in 1991 and joined the Army Reserve three years later, his wife told the paper. He went on full-time active duty in December 1996, and she said they were stationed in places as far-flung as Hawaii, Missouri, Alaska, Texas and Germany.

Rodriguez, a military police dog handler, was part of a special search team with his dog, Jacko. The dog survived the attack in Ana Kalay, and Laura Rodriguez said she hopes Jacko will be released to the family.

"He was Greg's best companion for the past couple of years," she said. "He'd been sleeping with Greg every night since they landed in Afghanistan."

Greg and Laura Rodriguez were married in Honolulu in 1999 and have three young children. "Greg is the best dad, a loving husband and an awesome soldier who loved being able to train and handle his K9 companions," she said.

Rodriguez was a Detroit Red Wings fan who enjoyed hassling other hockey fans, she said. He was "a very committed, loyal individual," but he also had a special sense of humor.

"Greg loved to push everyone's buttons and get people going with his rare, unique sense of sarcasm," Laura Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez's sister told the Detroit News that her brother was committed to keeping order. "My brother liked to be the law," Lisa Dombrowski said. "He liked justice. If it wasn't right, he made it right."

She said her brother was so skilled at training military dogs that he was given the most difficult ones, and that when other trainers couldn't get a dog in shape, it would be sent to Rodriguez. And she said he usually got the job done.

GA Rodriguez Funeral Services PHOTO September 2008
Laura Rodriguez, left, widow of Sergeant First Class Gregory A. Rodriguez, comforts his mother, Virginia Richardson,
at Arlington National Cemetery.

GA Rodriguez And Jacko PHOTO
Jacko and Rodriguez slept together in Afghanistan, according to Rodriguez' wife. Rodriguez' patrol came under fire in central 
Afghanistan, and "Rod," as he was known to his Army buddies, was killed. Jacko survived

GA Rodriguez And Jacko In Afghanistan PHOTO

GA Rodriguez And Jacko In Afghanistan PHOTO

GA Rodriguez And Jacko In Afghanistan PHOTO

RODRIGUEZ, GREGORY A
SFC   US ARMY
DATE OF BIRTH: 10/14/1972
DATE OF DEATH: 09/02/2008
BURIED AT: SECTION 60  SITE 8736
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

Webmaster: Michael Robert Patterson


Posted: 7 September 2008 Updated: 28 September 2008 Updated: 26 February 2009 Updated: 19 April 2009
     Bronze Star Medal
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Purple Heart Medal
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

GA Rodriguez Gravesite PHOTO April 2009
Photos By Holly, April 2009

GA Rodriguez Gravesite PHOTO February 2009
Photos By Holly, February 2009