Alvin Rose, who died June 18 from a bilateral stroke at age 62, was a husband of 43 years, father of seven, a retired Army Chief Warrant Officer and Army Aviation and Missile Command civil servant with enough medals and distinctions to fill a Humvee.
As an explosive ordnance disposal Sergeant in the Vietnam War, Rose was awarded a Bronze Star with a “V” after he recovered booby-trapped American soldiers during the Viet Cong's infamous Tet Offensive in 1968; a Soldier's Medal for evacuating soldiers after an explosion; and a Purple Heart. He served three tours during the war.
Rose was commander of an ordnance detachment in Germany and acting commander of a surveillance and accountability control team in Korea before retiring from the Army as a chief warrant officer 3 in 1984.
“He talked military, walked military, lived military and dreamed military. And in the process of time, he became retired military,” Jackie said, reciting a remembrance of her father from a family member.
“I think the Army was his opportunity, and he seized it to the fullest,” Rose's daughter said. “He just never settled. He took every opportunity and believed in working hard and leading by example.”
With his numerous military accolades, Rose will be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery on August 30, 2007.
“That's something that he always wanted,” Jackie said, “to be buried in his Purple Heart uniform and laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.”
Six years after his military retirement, Rose took a position as senior management analyst in the Weapons System Management Directorate, Army Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal, where he developed the “Redstone Arsenal Bomb Incident Guide.” The guide is still used as protocol in response to a bomb threat.
“He had a lot of vision, focus and purpose in life,” said his wife of 43 years, Charlotte. “He wanted the best of everything and strived to help.”
As a result of his decades of service, Rose was recognized repeatedly after his retirement from civil service in 1999.
He was inducted into the Madison County Hall of Heroes and the Ordnance Corps Hall of Fame in Maryland. He is on the Madison County Military Order of the Purple Heart Honor Roll; he served as the group's commander.
Not one to bask in personal glory, his wife said, Rose focused on spotlighting all service men and women by working tirelessly to establish the Purple Heart Monument on the grounds of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.
“He didn't want any recognition,” Charlotte said of her husband's work on the monument. “He said, ‘This is for all the guys with nobody's name on it.' ”
It was one of many community projects Rose worked on.
He spoke at the Optimist Club, worked with the Still Serving Veterans organization and spent time with the Urban Emphasis Scout Leaders Council as well as mentored Troop 400 of the Boy Scouts.
Rose liked to mesh his love of boating and fishing with the Scouts.
“He's had boats as long as his health allowed him,” Jackie said. “He helped the boys earn their merit badges with basic boating techniques.”
Fishing was something Rose had always done since growing up in New Orleans.
“He was very proud to be from New Orleans and very proud of the New Orleans Saints football team,” Jackie said, “regardless of their record.”
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard