Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cpl. Nicolas D. Parada Rodriguez

Remember Our Heroes

Cpl. Nicolas D. Parada Rodriguez,29, of Stafford, Va.

Cpl. Parada Rodriguez was assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died May 16, 2010 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Nicholas Parada-Rodriguez was an immigrant, who came to the United States 19 years ago, graduated from high school in Fairfax County, and his sister Norma said, he wanted to defend his country.

Marine Corps Cpl. Nicolas Parada-Rodriguez, 29, of Stafford, died Sunday in Afghanistan, the Defense Department said.

He had been in the Navy and was deployed to Afghanistan during his service, said his sister Norma. After his discharge, he held a civilian job for a time and then signed up again, this time in the Marines.

When he was sent to Afghanistan in December, she said, it was his second Afghanistan tour with the Marines.

"He said he just liked defending his country," Norma said Tuesday. "He wanted to do something that people would remember him for."

The Pentagon said Parada-Rodriguez died while supporting combat operations in Helmand province.

After coming to this country from El Salvador in 1991, according to his sister, Nicholas Parada-Rodriguez and his parents and siblings settled in Springfield.

He went to Robert E. Lee High School, where, she said, he enjoyed being with his friends, "being their leader . . . defending people . . . always looking out for people."

His sister said Cpl. Parada-Rodriguez had no children but loved to be with his nieces and nephews, sometimes telling them war stories, and often telling them to do good things.

He was assigned to the 1st Battalion of the 6th Marine Regiment of the 2nd Marine Division of the II Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., the Pentagon said.

It was a long drive between Camp Lejeune and Stafford, but Nicholas Parada-Rodriguez made it often, Norma said.

When at Lejeune, his sister said, he "couldn't wait for weekends" to come to Virginia to be with family.

"It's very sad," she said. "We are devastated. We knew that this could happen." But she said, he was due to return in late June or early July, and "we always had that hope" that he would.

Military officials say a 29-year-old Marine corporal based in North Carolina has been killed in Afghanistan.

A statement from Camp Lejeune says Paradarodriguez was a team leader assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 7, I Marine Expeditionary Force Forward. Paradarodriguez joined the Marine Corps in January 2007 and was promoted to corporal in April 2009.

Parada-Rodriguez deployed to Afghanistan in 2008 and again last December.

His awards include the Navy Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and NATO International Security Assistance Force Medal.

Cpl. Nicolas D. Parada Rodriguez was killed in action on 5/16/10.

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