Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Army Pfc. Raymond L. Henry

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pfc. Raymond L. Henry, 21, of Anaheim, California

Pfc Henry was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Fort Wainwright, Alaska; killed April 25 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during combat operations in Mosul, Iraq.

By SARAH TULLY
The Orange County Register

STANTON – Army Pfc. Raymond L. Henry had a way of putting his mother at ease when they chatted on the phone or exchanged e-mails from Iraq, where he was stationed.

So, Willieetta Robinson-Henry didn't fret much.

"I knew the dangers. He was that type of person. He could persuade you that it would be OK," she said.

An Army official knocked on the door of Willieetta Robinson-Henry's Stanton home Tuesday with the news that her only son had died in Iraq.

Henry, 21, of Anaheim was killed Tuesday when a roadside bomb exploded near the Stryker armored vehicle he was in during a patrol in Mosul. Three other soldiers were injured.

The 3,800 members of the Alaska-based 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team were deployed to Iraq in August 2005. The Army started using the 19-ton Strykers in 2002.

Henry joined the Army last year when he learned that it could help his chances of becoming a firefighter.

"I think he needed to have some direction," said John Perrot, the father of Henry's friend. "I think it gave him something he needed. It made him feel life was worthwhile."

Henry told his father first, his mother last. She wanted him to wait.

"It was a war going on," she said. "We were hoping by then, that President Bush would have changed his mind or brought the troops home."

But Henry ended up enjoying the camaraderie and teamwork with fellow soldiers. He raved about playing in a basketball tournament.

He loved basketball and competed in high school.

He helped coach a summer league - something he hoped to continue.

He'd square off on basketball video games for hours.

His mother's favorite team is the Lakers, so Henry naturally picked another team: LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Once he got to Iraq, Henry found himself defending the California team, and picked up Kobe Bryant as one of his favorite players. He wanted Nike Kobe 1 shoes and a Cadillac Escalade.

"He really wanted to show all of us he could make it through it," said friend John Perrot, who has the same name as his father.

Henry's family and friends came above all else. At least 15 friends have stopped by and even more have called the house since his death, Robinson-Henry said.

When he came home for 15 days of leave in February, Henry traveled to Las Vegas to belatedly celebrate his 21st birthday with friends.

He gave flowers to his friend's mother for Mother's Day. During his leave, Henry sent his mother a bouquet of yellow roses with a card stating "Mom, just because I love you."

In their final conversation last week, Robinson-Henry and her son talked for 2 -1/2 hours about his basketball tournaments and his Vegas trip. He wanted to take a trip to Caesars Palace during his next leave, when he planned to take Perrot for his 21st birthday.

"It was a short life, but it was a full life," Robinson-Henry said.

Army Pfc. Raymond L. Henry was killed in action on 04/25/06.

1 comment:

DANIEL LOURIDO said...

DAM MY NIGGA RAY, ITS BEEN A LIL OVER A YEAR THAT YOU WENT TO A BETTER PLACE AND IT STILL HURTS A LOT JUST TO READ ALL THIS ARTICLES AND SEE MEMORIAL WEB PAGES ABOUT YOU. YOU MADE YOURSELF FAMOUS MY NIGGA YOU ALWAYS TOLD ME YOU WOULD. I MISS YOU A LOT MY BROTHER I AINT NEVER GONNA FORGET BOUT THE TIME YOU CAME FROM IRAQ AND WE WENT TO VEGAS WITH KVON, T, AND JOSE. GREATEST MOMENT IN MY LIFE.........I THINK BOUT YOU EVERYDAY SON.....HOPEFULLY YOU WILL BE WAITING FOR ME UP THERE WHEN I GO...LOVE YOU MY NIG.

ICYHOT
DANIEL LOURIDO

P.S. KING RH LIVES ON FOREVER THRU ALL UR LOVED ONES!