Family of fallen Knoxville soldier mentioned in Presidential radio address

By: Nick Bona
By: Nick Bona

Knoxville (WVLT) -- In April, Specialist Michael Rodriguez, 20 was one of nine paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division killed in an Iraqi suicide bombing attack.

SPC Rodriguez grew up in Knoxville where he went to school at Central High and attended church at Chilhowee Hills Baptist.

His family still lives in Knoxville, and in the months since his death, they have been trying to make a difference in the lives of Iraqi children.

Word of their generosity reached the White House, and on Saturday morning, President Bush pointed out the family’s contributions in his weekly radio address.

He specifically mentioned them as examples of those who have turned the grief of losing loved ones into acts of compassion.

"During his deployment in Iraq, Michael often wrote home to his family about the children he met on patrol,” the President said. “In April, Michael was killed by a suicide bomber. Now his family is honoring his memory by helping to collect school supplies for students at an Iraqi school for girls."

According to the 101st Airborne, that school is the Dur-Mandali Primary School for Girls in the city of Balad-Ruz.

You can read more about it by clicking on the link below.

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