Richard S. Arriaga
Headquarters Battery 4th Battalion 42nd Artillery
4th Infantry Division (Mechanized)
KIA September 18, 2003
Army Spc. Richard Arriaga
Died September 18, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
20, of Ganado, Texas; assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 4th Battalion, 42nd Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas; killed Sept. 18
during an ambush by small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades in Tikrit, Iraq. Two other soldiers from his unit also were killed.
Spc. Richard Arriaga never met his daughter, but he already was showing signs of spoiling her. While he was in Iraq, he called home to Ganado, Texas, every week
to check on his family, said Arriaga's aunt, Dolly Salinas. He was especially concerned about his newborn daughter. "He'd say, I want you to pick her up right now,'"
Salinas said. "He would have been a good father. He would have spoiled that child." Arriaga, 20, died Sept. 18 during an ambush near Tikrit, Iraq.
A week before he left for Iraq, Arriaga married his girlfriend, Maggie, so that the baby girl she was going to give birth to would be born with his name.
Little Bianca Mia was a month old when he was killed. "He wanted everything to be perfect, just in case something happened to him," Salinas said.
After Arriaga's death, his sister decided to name her baby boy Richard.
SPC Arriaga, SGT Thompson and
SPC Wright were all ambushed just south-east of Tikrit along the
on the night of 18 September 2003.
They were all assigned to HHB 4/42 FA, and were attached to G Troop 10th Cav.
The vehicle they were riding in was a standard hard-back HMMWV, not an up-armored version. They were hit by RPG and small arms fire.
One RPG round penetrated the door on SPC Arriaga's side of the vehicle, passed through him, and struck SGT Thompson
in the passenger side - without detonating, killing both men.
SPC Wright was in the gunner hatch, and was caught by shrapnel from another RPG that detonated on the vehicle.
A fourth member of the Crew, PFC Cross (I think was his name) was able to exit the vehicle and return fire, killing some of the ambush force.
He was the lone survivor of the vehicle, and was recognized for valor.
All 3 men were great soldiers, knew their jobs, and were great to work with. We miss them all.
SPC Arriaga had recently transferred over to G Troop - and was the former driver of a 113 that SSG White was killed in
back in August of 2003. SPC Arriaga had normally driven that vehicle, and wasn't in it when it encountered an Anti-tank mine.
SSG White was KIA on 13 Aug 2003 in that incident.
AG Franklin, Trey (DA Civilian), SSG USA(Ret)
SPC Richard Arriaga
SPC Richard Arriaga's decorations
Grave monument for Richard S. Arriaga
Photo by Bob from the Find A Grave website
Quilt made for the family of Richard Arriaga by Marine Comfort Quilts
Marine Comfort Quilts
Marine Comfort Quilt Group is a not for profit
ministry whose objective is to provide a memorial quilt of
comfort to the next of kin of our fallen military.
Our quilts are made from thirty quilt squares, each containing an inspirational message from it's donor or another serviceman.
Our quilts are stitches of love from those who want so badly to bring comfort, but don't know how to help.
For a tribute to Richard Arriaga click on thee following link:
Fallen Heroes Memorial
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