Officials said 26-year-old Sgt. Ronald A. Rodriguez was killed in an IED blast in Afghanistan's Helmand province. He served as a field artillery cannoneer with the U.S. Marine Corps 11th Marine Regiment, based at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Rodriguez also served two tours in Iraq during his eight years as a Marine, earning more than a dozen personal service awards, including the Purple Heart. His family issued the following statement Tuesday night:
"We love our son and we will miss him so much. He served his country with honor and courage. He will always be in our hearts. Our prayers go out to all other families of fallen heroes, and we thank you for all of your support."