Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Army Cpl. Michael M. Rojas

Remember Our Heroes

Army Cpl. Michael M. Rojas, 21, of Fresno, Calif.

Cpl. Rojas was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.; died April 18 in Taji, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during combat operations. Also killed was Cpl. Wade J. Oglesby.

Clovis soldier dies in Baghdad

The Associated Press

CLOVIS, Calif. — A former high school football player who was scheduled to return from Iraq over the summer was killed in Baghdad, his family said.

Army Spc. Michael Rojas, 21, died April 17, according to his father David Esquivil. The Department of Defense could not immediately confirm Rojas’ death.

Rojas enlisted after graduating in 2004 from Clovis East High School, where he played football for four years. He deployed to Iraq in June 2006, family members said.

“I got a letter from him recently saying he was in Baghdad, and it was dangerous,” Esquivil said. “He was looking forward to being back home, but was proud to be serving.”

Officials at Rojas’ alma mater held a moment of silence for the soldier April 19.

“He was a pretty good kid and a better-than-average athlete,” Clovis East football coach Tim Murphy said. “He went out the most honorable way you could go out.”

Rojas is survived by his parents and four sisters. -- FORT LEWIS - The newlywed widow of a Stryker soldier killed in Iraq says she doesn't want people to forget about the sacrifices being made.
Cpl. Michael Rojas and his fellow Stryker Cpl. Wade Oglesby were both killed by a roadside bomb.

She's only 21, but Katrina Rojas is wise beyond her years.

"I appreciate all of the support and everything. I understand with the last week in the media with Virginia (Tech) it's hard," she said. "But I just want people to remember we still have these boys (and women) over there fighting for us and dying for us and I just want people to know that and remember that about my husband and Cpl. Wade Oglesby and everyone who's lost their life."

Her love for Mike Rojas is boundless. They got married last September when Mike came home from Iraq for a few days of R&R.

"We just wanted to be man and wife. We just wanted to be together," she said. "We wanted to have that bond, that forever."

The two got to spend only 11 days together as a married couple before the Fresno, California native had to return to his Stryker Brigade in Iraq. Then came word that Mike was killed by a roadside bomb.

"Mike deployed in June and we were on the countdown for him to come home," she said. "Unfortunately, then just two weeks ago we find out there's an extension. Okay, that's okay I can deal with this. And now my countdown will continue forever."

Army Cpl. Michael M. Rojas was killed in action on 4/18/07.

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