Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Army Sgt. 1st Class Rocky H. Herrera

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. 1st Class Rocky H. Herrera, 43, of Salt Lake City

SFC Herrera was assigned to the 585th Engineer Pipeline Company, 864th Engineer Battalion, 555th Engineer Brigade, Fort Lewis, Wash.; died Aug. 28, 2007 in Jaji, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device. Also killed were Sgt. Cory L. Clark and Sgt. Bryce D. Howard.

Salt Lake native dies in Afghanistan

The Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — A 43-year-old Utah native assigned to Fort Lewis in Washington state died from a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, his family said.

Army Sgt. Rocky Herrera was expected home early in 2008. He was killed Aug. 27 while trying to shield other soldiers, family members said.

“Rocky believed in what he was doing,” his mother, Elaine Herrera, said Aug. 29. “And he had to protect his troops because it was his job.”

Herrera boxed until he was 25 and was known in the ring as the “Rock.” He graduated from West High School and joined the military in his 20s. He left Salt Lake City about 10 years ago and was living in Lacey, Wash.

Utah native killed in Afghanistan remembered as a man who 'inspired'
By Stephen Speckman
Deseret Morning News

Sgt. 1st Class Rocky Herrera wasn't just Number 45, the total of military and non-military people with Utah ties who have died while involved in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Herrera, 43, was a brother, father, husband, uncle, son and grandfather. His family wanted everyone who attended Herrera's funeral Wednesday to know that. Near his open casket inside St. Ann Catholic Church were photos of the family man, the fisherman, the boxer and the Chicago Cubs fan.

He was remembered as someone who had a great sense of humor, a man who "inspired" others, lived life to the fullest and loved the outdoors.

His family also wanted people to know Herrera, who was based at Fort Lewis, was a hero.

Herrera and two others were killed Aug. 28 in Jaji, Afghanistan, in a blast by a suicide bomber. Family members had heard Herrera was trying to shield other soldiers from the bomber. He had served full time in the Army for about 20 years. His specialty was as an engineer, helping to build roads and bridges in Afghanistan.

During mass held before his burial with full honors in his hometown Salt Lake City, Herrera was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star, which is given in recognition for acts of bravery and merit.

Capt. Jenn Foxworth read a letter written by Lt. Col. Mark Deschenes, who served with Herrera in Afghanistan, where Deschenes is commander of Task Force Pacemaker, based in Sharana.
Deschenes wrote that over a three-day period following Herrera's death, many soldiers came up to him to talk about their fallen comrade. On an "isolated outpost in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan," those soldiers described Herrera as someone who helped make them strong. At the time he died he was assigned to the 585th Engineer Pipeline Company, 864th Engineer Battalion, 555th Engineer Brigade.

"His loss to the Pacemaker family will be felt forever," Deschenes said. "There are no words to describe the void that cannot and will not be filled."

Deschenes called Herrera a "superior human example," selfless, hardworking and a dedicated soldier and family man.

"Those characteristics have been adopted and ingrained in the people who knew him, and in this way his legacy will continue to serve us," Deschenes wrote.

Herrera is survived by his mother, wife, four children, a brother and a sister. His cremated remains will be buried at the Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery next to his father Henry Herrera, who died last January

Army Sgt. 1st Class Rocky H. Herrera was killed in action on 8/28/07.


Jeri said...

Rocky is my brother. Thank you for posting this blog and including my brother among these heros. Rocky will be dearly missed as well as the other heros listed on this page. Thank you again!

Jeri said...

Rocky is my brother. He will be dearly missed. Thank you for including him amonst the heros listed on this page. Every one here listed is a true hero and will always be held close to my heart along with Rocky. We love you Rocky!

Anonymous said...

Re: SFC Rocky H Herrera

I represent PRAYER SHAWLS 4 FALLEN SOLDIERS (PS4FS), an organization that since October 2007 has sent over 2,800 prayer shawls to military families who have lost a loved one. We are an organization of over 240 groups from all over the country. We make every effort to reach families even when post cards are returned after they have moved. Would you kindly send me a contact email/address so that we may send a loving hand-made prayer shawl to the family? Thank you!

Cozette Haggerty, Prayer Shawls 4 Fallen Soldiers
Email: ps4fs@charter.net
Website Address: http://webpages.charter.net/ps4fs/shawls

Sheyanne Garcia said...

Rocky H. Herrera, 4-24-13

I will ALWAYS remember Rocky. He saved alot of people including my father Timothy James Garcia. I will always look up to him for the rest of my life. He is my hero of severing the U.S.A. Thank you so much Rocky. I love you Even know i was 10 at the time when we hang out and had parties. R.I.P Rocky I.love.You. I always think of you all the time even Sgt. Cory L. Clark and Sgt. Bryce D. Howard. Rest In Peace all of you who will always be remember as our heroes!

Anonymous said...

SFC Rocky H. Herrera 4-24-13

I will ALWAYS remember you! I love you so much! You are the world's Hero! Thank you for saving my father Timothy J. Garcia and of the others that had been saved by the brave and most loved person. I wish you were still here today! But i am happy you are happy in heaven! I will always think of you all of this life i have left even know i was 10 since we hang out with parties and get together s! I HOPE YOU ARE my guardian angel! REST IN PEACE including Sgt. Cory L. Clark and also Sgt. Bryce D. Howard. i love you all! (: