Elijah J Rao

LAKE OSWEGO, OR, US

U.S. Army

SGT, HHB, 2D BN, 77TH FIELD ARTILLERY, FORT CARSON, CO

07/29/2010, ALINGAR DISTRICT WESTERN NURISTAN, AFGHANISTAN


US Army Sergeant Elijah John-Miles Rao was an intelligence analyst and patrol crew member. His first tour, of 15 months, was served in Iraq. On December 5, 2009, while on his second tour, in Nuristan, Afghanistan, he was killed by a roadside bomb while on patrol. The IED that killed Elijah had a wire that led to a tunnel where a cowardly man waited for him to walk near it and then he triggered it. At that moment Elijah stepped from this life and into the presence of God within the blink of an eye.

The terrorists did not gain a thing with their cowardly act -they instead cast a bright light onto the beautiful life of one more American Hero.

Elijah was a member of the HHB 2nd Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division and was based at Ft. Carson, Colorado. Elijah leaves behind his family, wife, daughter and countless friends.

From his wife Leah:

Elijah was a very tender, loving, gentle man and if given the opportunity to look at him, into his eyes, it was very apparent. He was innocent, pure, and whole. He was a man of courage and honor. Elijah loved to spend time on the computer tinkering around with games; such as America’s Army, Call of Duty and was getting into graphic design right before he deployed to Afghanistan in June of 09.

Elijah and I met in 2005, and married quickly as if we knew each other for years! We had one beautiful little girl, Eliana, who is now 2 1/2 years old.

Elijah was a man of God first and foremost, and loved his family! I’ve had his friends in his unit say that all he would talk about was he couldn’t wait until he could come home to his wife and baby girl! It means a lot to hear that.

Elijah’s portrait is also on Poster 10