Army Lt. Jonathan D. Rozier

Army Lt. Jonathan D. Rozier

Died July 19, 2003 serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom

25, Katy, Texas; assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 70th Armor Regiment, of the 1st Armored Division, deployed from Fort Riley, Kan.; killed while providing security at a bank when his unit came under attack July 19 in Baghdad.

Friends, comrades at funeral celebrate Rozier’s life
Associated Press

KATY, Texas — Family members and friends of the fifth Houston-area serviceman to die in Iraq have remembered his heroism on the battlefield and his leadership as a family man and Texas A&M University graduate. As relatives of Army Lt. Jonathan Rozier recalled the soldier’s life, several hundred mourners at his funeral wiped away their tears and replaced them with smiles on July 30. In attendance were Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Harris County Judge Robert Eckels and Katy Mayor Doyle Callender. Three days after Rozier’s 25th birthday, he died in Baghdad when his unit was attacked by rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire outside a municipal building, according to the Defense Department. The soldier was with B Company, 270th Armor Battalion, 1st Armored Division from Fort Riley, Kan. During services at First Baptist Church in Katy, mourners were led in a rendition of “The Spirit of Aggieland.” Rozier, a recipient of the Bronze Star for valor, graduated from Texas A&M in 2001.
Members of A&M’s Corps of Cadets paid tribute to Rozier by crouching and yelling “Whoop!” A standing ovation followed when the Rev. Tommy Alford, in the eulogy, encouraged everyone to stand and applaud Rozier’s life. Rozier was remembered as a home-schooled straight arrow who married the first girl he ever dated. Family also recalled how enjoyed taking things apart. David Rozier said his son as the kind of boy who “actually read the manuals for VCRs” and once suffered a bad cut while in “trying to find out how a food processor works.”
Rozier’s mother, Barbara Rozier, said her “relationship with Jesus Christ” has helped her deal the unbearable pain of losing her son. “Jonathan is dancing in heaven,” she said. “He’s gone on ahead, so for now we’re going to say goodbye.” Rozier is survived by his wife, Jessica, and their 9-month-old son, Justin. Jessica Rozier read from the citation that awarded her husband a Bronze Star, which he received for his actions during a March 31 battle at Al Hillah. Rozier’s platoon of tanks came under enemy fire and he put his tanks between the foot soldiers and the enemy, destroying the attackers with “textbook” tactics, the citation said.
Rozier also received a Bronze Star for meritorious service and the Purple Heart for his wounds. Jessica Rozier laid a red rose on his flag-draped casket before leaving the church.
He was buried at Houston National Cemetery, where an honor guard from Fort Sam Houston lifted the flag and held it aloft as a salute was fired and “Taps” was played.
Two Apache helicopters from a National Guard unit at Ellington Field roared overhead.
Bronze Star recipient dies in Iraq ambush

HOUSTON — A Texas soldier who earned a Bronze Star for bravery died in an ambush while on patrol in Iraq, military officials say. Army Lt. Jonathan D. Rozier of Katy was killed July 19 when his unit was attacked by rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire in Baghdad, just outside a municipal building, according to the Defense Department.
Rozier died just three days after his 25th birthday, becoming the fifth Houston-area soldier to have died serving in Iraq. “There were no limits to his aspirations,” said his father, David Rozier of Katy. “He wanted to have a career in the military, clear through to retirement.”
The younger Rozier, assigned to B Company, 2-70th Armor Battalion, 1st Armored Division out of Fort Riley, Kan., had earned the Bronze Star for valor during the battle of Al Hillah. Just 15 of the 4,000 Bronze Stars awarded during Operation Iraqi Freedom were given for valor.
Rozier, a Dallas native, moved to Katy with his family in 1991. He graduated from Texas A&M University in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and also married that year. He and his wife, Jessica, have a 9-month-old baby, Justin. “We certainly knew he would be in danger,” said Rozier’s father. The last time the soldier had spoken with his wife was the day before he was killed. “We thank God that she had the opportunity to talk with him and that they had the opportunity to talk about the future,” said his father. “That was a real blessing.”
The Defense Department said in a prepared statement Sunday that the lieutenant’s unit was providing security at the municipal building when the attack occurred. “He loved the Army, he loved everything about it – he knew it was a cause worth fighting and dying for,” Jimmy Parker, a family friend, said Sunday. Since May 1, when President Bush declared major Iraqi combat over, 36 U.S. troops have been killed in action, including the ambush deaths of two more soldiers Sunday in northern Iraq. That brought to 151 the number of American troops killed in action since the March 20 start of war.
Associated Press

BRYAN, Texas — Barbara Rozier says her son told the family that he wasn’t afraid of fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom, because he would be relatively safe driving a tank.
“But when he died he was outside his tank, doing checkpoint duty in the middle of the night,” Rozier said. “And he led his men by example, so he was right out front.”
Jonathan Rozier, 25, died July 19 when his unit was attacked by rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire in Baghdad, just outside a municipal building, according to the Defense Department. Funeral services were scheduled for July 30 at the First Baptist Church in Katy. Burial would follow in the Houston National Cemetery. Barbara Rozier said she finally realized her son was dead after seeing his body. “I got to see his body for the first time, and that’s when reality hit that it’s not a mistake,” Rozier told the Bryan-College Station Eagle in a telephone interview from her home in Katy. “That’s when I had to accept it.” Rozier was assigned to B Company, 270th Armor Battalion, 1st Armored Division out of Fort Riley, Kan. He had won the Bronze Star for valor during the battle of Al Hillah. Just 15 of the 4,000 Bronze Stars awarded during Operation Iraqi Freedom were given for valor.
Rozier, a Dallas native, moved to Katy with his family in 1991. He graduated from Texas A&M University in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and also married that year. He and his wife, Jessica, have a 9-month-old baby, Justin. “He is my hero, he really is,” Barbara Rozier said. “He firmly stood for what he was fighting for, so he was willing to do whatever it took.”
Associated Press

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