Marine Cpl. Randal Kent Rosacker

Marine Cpl. Randal Kent Rosacker

Died March 23, 2003 serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom

21, of San Diego; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; killed in action near Nasiriyah, Iraq.

Rosacker was a talented high-school athlete who married his high school sweetheart and pursued his goals without fanfare. He grew up in San Diego knowing he would join the Marine Corps. He even wrote essays in high school about his plans to become a Marine. That’s how his teachers and his father remember the 21-year-old. “He didn’t go in much for publicity. He got talked about a lot as an athlete, but he just blew it off. He was on the wrestling team and played football and baseball,” said his father, Rod Rosacker, who lives in Bremerton, Wash. He’s a command master chief with the Navy aboard the ballistic missile submarine Alabama. He returned March 24 from three months at sea. “We got the message from chaplains,” Rod Rosacker said. “I’ve been in the Gulf four times. He’d been over there 2 1/2 months. When I heard about the fighting there I was worried. It’s something you know can happen. You just hope it will never happen to you.” Shortly before deploying to the Persian Gulf, the younger Rosacker had been in an accident in which he fell off the back of a truck. He was still recovering from that, his father said. Rosacker graduated from Junipero Serra High School in San Diego in 2000. He joined the Marines to “do something for his country,” his father said. “He was an all-around good student and athlete,” said Donna Somerville, principal of his high school. “His coaches all speak highly of his dedication to sports. And his English teacher told me that he used to write essays about becoming a Marine. Some of the senior students remember him, and there’s a lot of grief here.” Rosacker is survived by his wife of two years, Brooke, who lives in San Diego, his parents, and two younger sisters, Samantha and Antoinette, also of Bremerton.

USA Today, Associated Press

Rosacker joined the Marines when he was 18, despite scholarship offers to play college football. His father, Navy Command Master Chief Rod Rosacker and his wife, Debra, recalled letters written on used food containers sent by their son from the Middle East. In the letters, he said how he missed them and complained of sandstorms. His parents mailed him some boxes Monday, with letters, candy and some bandanas for protection against blowing sand. At Rosacker’s home in the hills of San Diego, his wife grew teary-eyed as she declined a reporter’s request to speak about her husband. “I don’t want to say anything right now,” the young woman said, declining to give her name. “It’s just too crazy.”

Associated Press

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