Memorial set for soldier killed in training
A private memorial service was to be held this morning at Schofield Barracks' main chapel for 25th Infantry Division Staff Sgt. Oscar Rodriguez, who was killed Friday when a mortar exploded during exercises at the Big Island's Pohakuloa Training Area.
Rodriguez, an Iraqi war veteran, was killed a day before his 28th birthday, Amy De Garza, a cousin, told the Corpus Christi Times yesterday.
The Army attributed his death to an 81 mm mortar round that also injured four other soldiers from the 25th Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team's 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment.
One of the four injured soldiers is in critical condition at the Queen's Medical Center. The Army will not release their names or extent of their injuries.
Kendrick Washington, Schofield Barracks spokesman, said the two other soldiers are in stable condition.
The cause of the explosion is being investigated by the Army's Criminal Investigation Division and the Combat Readiness Center.
De La Garza told the Texas newspaper that Rodriguez met his wife, Stephanie, an Army reservist, while stationed in Kansas. The couple have a son, Jacob.
She said that her cousin had spent two tours in Iraq and added that he will be buried in San Diego on Monday.
Washington said the accident occurred just a few days before the unit, which had been at Pohakuloa since the end of February, was scheduled to return to Schofield Barracks.