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Local Marine, Rogelio Ramirez, Killed in Iraq

by DJ Thursday, Aug. 30, 2007 at 10:43 PM

On Sunday, U.S. Marine Pfc. Rogelio Ramirez was killed in Iraq. The 21-year-old Ramirez left behind his immediate family, a girlfriend who is three months' pregnant with his child, and plans to buy a home, raise a family and get into real estate after returning home to Pasadena from his stint in the Marines, his relatives said.

Local Marine, Rogeli...
marine_pfc._rogelio_ramirez.jpg, image/jpeg, 320x511

Photo Caption: Marine Pfc. Rogelio Ramirez of Pasadena was killed Sunday in Iraq. Ramirez became a Marine a year ago and was in Iraq a month before his death. PHOTOGRAPHER: Walt Mancini

Loved ones remember Marine who died in Iraq

Ramirez, 21, attended Pasadena schools
By Emanuel Parker Staff Writer
Article Launched: 08/29/2007 12:26:03 AM PDT

PASADENA - As a child growing up in Oceanside, Rogelio Ramirez idolized the Marines he saw so often at nearby Camp Pendleton.

He longed to be one of them, his father, Jose Ramirez, of Pasadena, said Tuesday.

"I thought he'd grow out of it, but he didn't. He watched the Marines, saw how they lived, saw them work as a team."

But before he could realize that dream, Rogelio had to work past his own demons. Short in stature at 5 feet 5 inches tall, he felt picked on at school because of his size, said his sister, Tina Cordero. As his self-esteem sank, Rogelio lost interest in education, dropped out of Pasadena High School and felt unappreciated.

"It was in his head," she said. "He had some personal issues, some dark moments and times. We always saw the potential in him, but he didn't."

With rekindled determination, however, Ramirez in his late teens tried again to realize his dream of becoming a Marine, his family said.

But before the Corps would accept him, they told Ramirez he had to go back to school and earn his diploma, complete some college credits, clear up some truancy issues and cover over some tattoos, Cordero said.

Ramirez fulfilled all those requirements, she added.

"He was able to climb from that dark place to an honorable place," she said.

A year ago, Ramirez joined the Marines and later was sent to Iraq. He was there just five weeks when his Humvee hit an improvised explosive device.

On Sunday, U.S. Marine Pfc. Rogelio Ramirez was killed in Iraq. As of Monday, at least 3,731 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

The 21-year-old Ramirez left behind his immediate family, a girlfriend who is three months' pregnant with his child, and plans to buy a home, raise a family and get into real estate after returning home to Pasadena from his stint in the Marines, his relatives said.

His mother said the family plans to bury the young serviceman at Mountain View Cemetery & Mortuary in Altadena. Funeral plans are pending.

Knowing her son died doing what he wanted to do brings comfort to his family, his mother said.

"He was in the infantry, a gunner," said Irene "Binky" Ramirez. "He wanted to be the first one in. He said, `If I go, I don't want to be the handle on the sword, I want to be the tip of the sword."'

"He wanted to be an American hero," Cordero said. "He was short, but everybody looked up to him. He had more heart than other guys and people liked to be around him. He was always looking to get the maximum potential out of a situation. He took pride in being a man."

Ramirez attended Wilson Middle School before going to Pasadena High.

"He was my little homie," said Carlos Martinez, who attended Pasadena High with Ramirez. "I knew him since the 10th grade. We did the same stuff together. We went through good and bad times together."

Before joining the Marines, Ramirez covered up a tattoo on his side with another, a quotation about war by John Stuart Mill. It read:

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things ... The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

emanuel.parker@sgvn.com

(626) 578-6300, Ext. 4475

Copyright © 2007 Los Angeles Newspaper Group
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Marine Pfc. Rogelio Ramirez

by DJ Thursday, Aug. 30, 2007 at 10:43 PM

Marine Pfc. Rogelio ...
marine_pfc._rogelio_ramirez_2.jpg, image/jpeg, 320x354

PHOTOGRAPHER: Walt Mancini
Caption: Marine Pfc. Rogelio Ramirez of Pasadena was killed Sunday in Iraq. Ramirez became a Marine a year ago and was in Iraq a month before his death.
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Marine Pfc. Rogelio Ramirez

by DJ Thursday, Aug. 30, 2007 at 10:43 PM

Marine Pfc. Rogelio ...
marine_pfc._rogelio_ramirez_3.jpg, image/jpeg, 400x244

PHOTOGRAPHER: Walt Mancini
Caption: Marine Pfc. Rogelio Ramirez of Pasadena was killed Sunday in Iraq. Ramirez became a Marine a year ago and was in Iraq a month before his death.
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Irene Ramirez

by DJ Thursday, Aug. 30, 2007 at 10:43 PM

Irene Ramirez...
irene_ramirez.jpg, image/jpeg, 400x348

PHOTOGRAPHER: Walt Mancini
Caption: Irene Ramirez 61 of Pasadena, holding a photo of her son Marine Pfc. Rogelio Ramirez Tuesday August 28, 2007, who was killed Sunday in Iraq. Marine Pfc. Rogelio became a Marine a year ago and was in Iraq for a month before he was killed. (SGVN/Photo by Walt Mancini/SXCity)
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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 13 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Annual Pay for Active Duty Enlisted Soldiers FYI Saturday, Sep. 01, 2007 at 4:25 PM
not the entire picture Chris Saturday, Sep. 01, 2007 at 11:33 PM
2 sets of books. Sheepdog Sunday, Sep. 02, 2007 at 3:48 AM
Here's the USMC way christopherryan_lt@yahoo.com Sunday, Sep. 02, 2007 at 4:33 AM
quick correction christopherryan_lt@yahoo.com Sunday, Sep. 02, 2007 at 4:40 AM
Sgt. Quixdraw... Sheepdog Sunday, Sep. 02, 2007 at 4:55 AM
whatever dude... christopherryan_lt@yahoo.com Sunday, Sep. 02, 2007 at 5:43 AM
This aint about me. chum. Sheepdog Sunday, Sep. 02, 2007 at 7:11 AM
um...okay christopherryan_lt@yahoo.com Sunday, Sep. 02, 2007 at 8:01 AM
Don't Get Me Wrong Sheepdog Sunday, Sep. 02, 2007 at 1:40 PM
thought of my freind rogelio resist Saturday, Sep. 08, 2007 at 6:22 PM
rip brian Tuesday, Jun. 05, 2012 at 4:31 PM

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