Michael J Rodriguez

SANFORD, NC, USA U.S. Army SPC, TROOP B, 5TH SQUADRON, 73D CAVALRY, 3D BCT, (25 ID), FORT BRAGG, NC AS SADAH VILLAGE, IRAQ 04/23/2007

May 10, 2007

Today I heard the sad news of Michael’s death. I have great memories of him at a teenager in the Ulster Project as he hosted a teenager from Northern Ireland. Michael was generous in all sorts of ways, committed to the ideals of the Ulster Project, was fun to be with and a great person to know. I will be praying for you all, his family. God bless you.

Reverend Garth Bunting, Belfast, Northern Ireland

This message was posted on the Legacy.com Guest Book for Army Specialist Michael (Rod) J. Rodriguez. He was a 20-year old fourth-generation soldier who was killed in action in As Sadah, Iraq on April 23, 2007 when a Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) exploded against the C Troop Patrol Base. Eight other paratroopers died with him.

In 2005, he joined the U.S. Army and was assigned to Bravo Troop, 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. As an 82nd All American Paratrooper and Calvary Scout, Michael proudly earned the honor of wearing the Calvary Stetson and Spurs.

Michael attended Berean Christian School and Central High School in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he was a cadet in the Navy JROTC program. Retired Marine Warrant Officer David Johnston, his JROTC instructor said Michael was a “good student. A real bright kid. Voracious reader. One of our best student leaders.”

Specialist Rodriguez’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Action Badge, and the Parachutist Badge. His name is inscribed in the East Tennessee Veterans Memorial in Knoxville.

Michael is survived by his father, George T. Rodriguez III, and stepmother, Dona Drake, of Fayetteville, North Carolina and his mother and stepfather, Lorie and Eric Sutherland of Sanford, North Carolina; also by his brothers, George IV, Daniel, and Dan; sisters, Nancy, Katie, and Katherine; and his fiancée, Caitlin Stone.

Michael’s portrait is also located on Poster 5