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Rudy Salcido, a Local Soldier Killed in Iraq, Returns Home

by DJ Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2006 at 6:42 AM

A plane-side ceremony on Friday at Ontario International Airport met the body of Sgt. 1st Class Rudy Salcido, a 31-year-old California National Guard and La Puente native who died earlier this month in Iraq.

Rudy Salcido, a Loca...
rudy_a._salcido_returns_home_1.jpg, image/jpeg, 255x390

Caption for first photo: Jennifer Salcido (left) reaches over to embrace her husband Rudy Salcido's casket as she is joined by his sister Monica and brother Erik Salcido after the Army Sgt. 1st Class was returned home at Ontario International Airport on Friday, November 17, 2006. Salcido died on November 9th in Baghdad after an improvised explosive detonated near his convoy. (Therese Tran/Staff Photographer)



San Dimas family greets fallen soldier at ONT

By Jennifer McLain, Staff Writer

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Article Launched:11/18/2006 12:16:03 AM PST



ONTARIO - It was the homecoming San Dimas resident and father Peter Salcido feared most.

And it was a homecoming filled with mourning, hugs and tears.

A plane-side ceremony on Friday at Ontario International Airport met the body of Sgt. 1st Class Rudy Salcido, a 31-year-old California National Guard and La Puente native who died earlier this month in Iraq.

For the family members, the death of their hero didn't become a reality until they saw his casket.

"I'm still in denial," said wife, Jennifer, 29, before his body arrived. "I just want him home."

Salcido was assigned to the Army National Guard's 1114th Transportation Company. This was his third tour in Iraq.

The family waited in a private room before the 7:29 p.m. flight landed Friday. This was the first time they would see Salcido since he was deployed to Iraq in July, just three days after he married Jennifer.

The family laughed as they shared memories of Salcido, and cried at their loss.

"Rudy would always tell me, `Buck up, soldier,' " said mother Maybelle Luevano. "And he would probably tell me that now."

More than 15 family members walked out on the loading dock and watched the plane as the cargo door opened.

"I just want to see him," said Jennifer Salcido, who sobbed as her uncle and her mother held her in their arms.

The passengers of United Flight 1441 peered out the windows of the plane, which arrived from Denver, as soldiers unloaded the cargo from beneath.

Salcido, who relatives say loved his country, the Army, and his family, died Nov. 9 in Baghdad after an improvised explosive device detonated near his convoy vehicle, according to the Department of Defense.

"I just (want) everyone to know how much he loved our country," Luevano said.

Once the family got the cue, they approached the casket that sat between the plane, the hearse, and an assortment of federal and local government agencies.

Jennifer Salcido cried as she hugged the casket, draped with an American flag.

Peter Salcido touched the stars of the flag, a symbol that his son honored and respected.

"You feel his spirit," Peter Salcido said after touching the casket. "While it's only his body, you don't want to let go."



Copyright © 2006 Los Angeles Newspaper Group

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Passengers Watch

by DJ Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2006 at 6:42 AM

Passengers Watch...
rudy_a._salcido_returns_home_2.jpg, image/jpeg, 440x308

Passengers watch as the casket of Army Sgt. 1st Class Rudy A. Salcido returns home on Friday night, November 17, 2006 to Ontario International Airport to his family. (Therese Tran/Staff Photographer)

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Military pallbearers Guide the Casket

by DJ Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2006 at 6:42 AM

Military pallbearers...
rudy_a._salcido_returns_home_3.jpg, image/jpeg, 440x297

Military pallbearers guide the casket of Army Sgt. 1st Class Rudy A. Salcido off a plane as he arrives home to family on Friday, November 17, 2006 at Ontario International Airport. Salcido was killed in Baghdad on November 9th when an improvised explosive detonated near his convoy. (Therese Tran/Staff Photographer)

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Lisa Bradford hugs her daughter Jennifer Salcido

by DJ Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2006 at 6:42 AM

Lisa Bradford hugs h...
rudy_a._salcido_returns_home_4.jpg, image/jpeg, 440x300

(from left) Lisa Bradford hugs her daughter Jennifer Salcido as she waits for the arrival of her late husband Rudy Salcido with his daughter Gabriella Salcido on the tarmac at Ontario International Airport, Friday, November 17, 2006. (Therese Tran/Staff Photographer)

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Grandmother

by DJ Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2006 at 6:42 AM

Grandmother...
rudy_a._salcido_returns_home_5.jpg, image/jpeg, 440x300

Grandmother of Army Sgt. 1st Class Rudy A. Salcido, Florence McCleary (left) with his mom Maybelle Luevanao gather with family members as they watch the casket of Salcido be taken away off the tarmac at Ontario International Airport on Friday, November 17, 2006. (Therese Tran/Staff Photographer)

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Casket Escorted

by DJ Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2006 at 6:42 AM

Casket Escorted...
rudy_a._salcido_returns_home_6.jpg, image/jpeg, 440x295

The casket of Army Sgt. 1st Class Rudy A. Salcido is escorted on the tarmac at Ontario International Airport on Friday, November 17, 2006. (Therese Tran/Staff Photographer)

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Military Pallbearers

by DJ Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2006 at 6:42 AM

Military Pallbearers...
rudy_a._salcido_returns_home_7.jpg, image/jpeg, 440x286

Military pallbearers await the arrival of a flight bringing home the casket of Army Sgt. 1st Class Rudy A. Salcido on Friday, November 17, 2006 at Ontario International Airport. (Therese Tran/Staff Photographer)

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Waiting

by DJ Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2006 at 6:42 AM

Waiting...
rudy_a._salcido_returns_home_8.jpg, image/jpeg, 440x306

(from left) Army Spc. Diego Robles and Sgt. 1st Class James Elstad with the family of a Sgt. 1st Class Rudy A. Salcido await the flight bringing his casket home on Friday, November 17, 2006 at Ontario International Airport. Salcido was killed Nov. 9 in Baghdad. (Therese Tran/Staff Photographer)

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Jennifer Salcido Mourns

by DJ Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2006 at 6:42 AM

Jennifer Salcido Mou...
rudy_a._salcido_returns_home_9.jpg, image/jpeg, 440x284

Jennifer Salcido (left) mourns over her late husband Army Sgt. 1st Class Rudy A. Salcido with his sister Monica Salcido and other family members as his casket is returned to his family on Friday, November 17, 2006 at Ontario International Airport. Salcido was killed in Baghdad on Nov. 9. (Therese Tran/Staff Photographer)

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Monica Salcido comforts Jennifer Salcido

by DJ Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2006 at 6:42 AM

Monica Salcido comfo...
rudy_a._salcido_returns_home_10.jpg, image/jpeg, 440x294

Monica Salcido (left) comforts her sister in law Jennifer Salcido as they wait for the remains Army Sgt. 1st Class Rudy A. Salcido to return home to his family on Friday, November 17, 2006 at Ontario International Airport. Rudy and Jennifer were married just three days before his deployment to Iraq. (Therese Tran/Staff Photographer)

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 7 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
A Mother's Sorrow DJ Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2006 at 6:58 AM
Funeral Report Video *star* Thursday, Nov. 23, 2006 at 7:32 PM
Rest in peace warrior Stranger Saturday, Dec. 16, 2006 at 3:42 AM
Rest in peace warrior Stranger Saturday, Dec. 16, 2006 at 3:42 AM

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