NEW YORK -- Family and friends of Marine Cpl. Robert Marcus Rodriguez held a memorial mass at Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn, N.Y. one year after he was killed in action.
Rodriguez, a Brooklyn native, was assigned to 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, Calif. He and four other Marines were killed on March 25 last year during combat when the tank he was in plunged off a bridge and into the Euphrates River.
Family members remember how much 21-year-old Rodriguez loved being a Marine. "He was very gung-ho," said his older sister, Hyda Hernandez-Lopez. "He was supposed to get out (of the Corps) in January of this year, but he wrote me a letter from Kuwait saying he planned to reenlist."
Hernandez-Lopez also said her brother knew about the risks he faced in the Middle East. "He said he wasn't afraid of dying," she said. "He gave his all in everything he did, and to everyone he knew."