SHAFTER, CA, USA
SSG, COMPANY A, 2D BATTALION, 75TH RANGER, FORT LEWIS, WA
AR RAMADI, IRAQ 03/19/2006
Army Staff Sgt. Ricardo Barraza, of Shafter, CA, was a soldier who enlisted in the military immediately after his high school graduation. “He always thought of the rest of the people, not to have glory, but for everyone. He respected that uniform,” sad his mother, Nina Barraza.
Barraza 24, was killed from small-arms fire when he helped evacuate a building in Iraq. He died on March 18, 2007, in Ramadi.
Barraza, who had been in Iraq since 2002, graduated from Shafter High School in 1999. Friends described him as an outgoing athlete who played football, basketball and ran track. He was awarded best defensive back as a sophomore, said his former football coach, Belton Banks. “He was somebody who wanted to succeed and do well. He mainly wanted to make his mother proud of him,” Banks said.
He also loved fishing, but his mother joked those fishing trips were often just an excuse for grabbing a beer. His grandfather would carve wooden guns for him when he was young. The lure of action would have led him to police work if he hadn’t decided on the military.
He is survived by his mother Nina Barraza and father, Francisco Barraza.