Monday, June 13, 2011

TSgt. Raul Rojas, United States Air Force, Ret.

Raul Rojas was born July 18, 1931 in Eagle Pass, Texas and passed away June 4, 2011 while in hospice in Temple, Texas, at the age of 79.

Raul proudly served his country for more than twenty seven years in the United States Army and the United States Air Force. He was a veteran of the Vietnam war and was twice awarded the Bronze Star medal for his heroic service. During his years in the military he moved his family frequently: to Fort Worth, Texas; Fairbanks, Alaska; Altus, Oklahoma; Tucson, Arizona; Lakenheath, England; and Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Like many men that fought in Vietnam, the price was high with the memory of battle following him to his last days.

During the years when Raul wasn't in constant pain from a debilitating back injury, he enjoyed hunting and fishing. He had a gift for numbers and turned this into a pursuit for a college degree in accounting and worked part-time preparing tax returns.

Raul was married for 53 years to Ellen. They enjoyed, together, camping, traveling, Mexican food, good steaks, chorizo and going on cruises. They enjoyed trips to Hawaii, watching "Dancing with the Stars, and ballroom dancing.

A memorial service was held on June 8 at the Dossman Funeral Home in Temple, Texas. In attendance were the Patriot Guard Riders who formed a line of American flags at the entrance to welcome the arriving family and friends.

After the service, the Riders led the funeral procession to the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery at Killeen, Texas. Waiting there were more Riders, fifty American flags blowing in the Texas wind and the United States Air Force Honor Guard.

Six members of the Honor Guard carefully removed the flag draped coffin from the hearse and carried it into the committal shelter. They folded the American flag into the traditional triangle, and passed it to a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer. He cradled the folded flag in his arms as Pastor Darren said the final prayers.

The Air Force Rifle Detail fired three volleys of fire, representing Duty, Honor and Country. The bugler played taps, as the bells in the cemetery bell tower tolled high noon.

The folded American flag was presented to Raul's dear wife on behalf of the President of the United States, the United States Air Force and a grateful nation as thanks for his years of faithful service.

TSgt. Raul Rojas was then laid to rest on the wind swept plain, and the American flag flew at half-staff, in his honor, on the hill above.

Raul was the last of his immediate family. He was predeceased by his parents, a sister and a brother. Left to cherish his memory are his wife, a daughter, a son, two grandchildren and many other dear family and friends.

With thanks to the Dossman Funeral Home for biographical information.

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