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Friday, June 21, 2024

RUDY ACOSTA, PFC, USA KIA, AFGHANISTAN 19 March 2011

I apologize for getting this in late.  With all the problems we had with the board (Keeping it afloat).

This Hero deserves to be recognized as we always do.  PFC Acosta was a Doc,  a fellow Service-member and my brother as all Doc’s are from any service. I apologize for the lateness.—D/C

 

PFC Rudy Acosta, KIA 19 March 2011

The inspiration and courage that came to define local fallen soldier Rudy A.
Acosta will be formally recognized next week, when he will be honored
posthumously with both the Purple Heart and Bronze Star medals, his father said
Wednesday.

Dante Acosta, describing himself as a proud yet “heartbroken” father, said his
son inspired all those around him — his family, his friends and his “battle
buddies.”

“He was a wonderful young man who came back a man,” he said Wednesday on the
phone from the family’s home in Canyon Country.

Acosta, a combat medic who dreamed of becoming a doctor, died Saturday in
Kandahar province, Afghanistan. Acosta and Cpl. Donald R. Mickler Jr., 29, of
Ohio, were allegedly shot with small-arms fire by an individual from a military
security group, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Department of
Defense. The incident is under investigation.

Services, honors
Acosta served with the 4th Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, based in
Vilseck, Germany. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of specialist,
according to the military.

His parents, Dante and Carolyn Acosta, expect to fly to Germany in the near
future for a special ceremony honoring their son.

Here, at home, a candlelight prayer vigil is scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight at the
Santa Clarita Baptist Church.

On March 31, the Purple Heart and Bronze Star will be presented in the same
church during a private funeral service “with full military honors,” Acosta
said.

Immediately following the private service, a funeral procession under full
military escort will wind its way through the Santa Clarita Valley, past many of
the young man’s favorite places, he said.

The Purple Heart is a U.S. military decoration awarded to members of the armed
forces who have been wounded in action. The Bronze Star is awarded either for
heroism or for meritorious achievement in ground combat.

Military motorcade
Acosta asked that those wishing to show their respect line the streets of the
procession to hold American flags.

The military motorcade is expected to proceed along Soledad Canyon Road, passing
the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center where Acosta trained for the Alcatraz Swim and
near the Mountasia Family Fun Center.

The motorcade is scheduled to travel along McBean Parkway past Westfield
Valencia Town Center, where Acosta met friends; past Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial
Hospital where he was born; to Lyons Avenue, near the preschool Acosta once
attended.

“He is a child of this community,” said his father. “Born and raised and
educated here. He never left the community.”
The motorcade will then proceed to Sierra Highway and then to Eternal Valley
Memorial Park & Mortuary.

Religious soldier
“Our son was a hero to our country and also a wonderful Christian young man,”
Acosta said. “He did ask our pastor to pray for the Afghan people.”

After nine months of deployment to combat service in Afghanistan, Acosta was
assigned to a station “behind the wire” away from the direct combat zone, he
added.

“After nine months, he was no longer in combat and he told me, `Dad, please pray
for my friends in the platoon,’ As a medic, he treated many of them and was
going into some pretty rough areas. He saved lives.”

Acosta said he saved his son’s last phone message home.

Rudy Acosta’s father paused for a moment while quoting his son’s last words to
them:

“He said `I think about you and everybody at home. I love you all very much, and
I will be home soon.'”

Acosta graduated from Santa Clarita Christian School in 2009, completed Army
basic training that summer and was deployed to Afghanistan on June 10. He served
as a health care specialist.

Acosta planned to enroll in medical school after he completed his service.

But, while he served as a medic, he also served as an inspiration to all those
around him, his father said.

“The son of one of his military buddies called him a role model,” Acosta said,
pausing again. “He called him an inspiration.”

Tonight’s vigil
The prayer vigil at Santa Clarita Baptist Church is scheduled for 6 p.m.
tonight. Parking is available at the adjacent shopping plaza and neighboring
Lutheran Church, 27249 Luther Drive in Canyon Country. Guests are asked to begin
arriving at 5:30 p.m. in order for the prayer vigil to begin on time.

In lieu of flowers, the Acosta family requests that contributions be made to the
Rudy A. Acosta Memorial Fund at the church

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