Ronnie J. Pallares 19, of Rancho Cucamonga, California, was killed by an improvised explosive device in Andar, district, Ghazni, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 27th Engineer Battalion at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Ronnie’s Decision To Serve
When Ronnie was 17, he enlisted in the army. His mother Brenda said, ” I had to sign for him to go in because he was 17.” Brenda, was against the idea at first but eventually she fully supported her son’s decision. Ronnie was known as “Pumpkin” to his family, and friends. Ronnie was known for his beautiful smile , that just seemed to brighten your day whenever he was around. Ronnie, chose to serve his country knowing that their was a chance that he might not come home.
Family And Friends Recall Ronnie’s Life
Family, friends, Pastors, city officials, and servicemen gathered to speak at the service. One by One they came to the podium. Pfc. Cruz Vasquez recalled what happened the day his friend Ronnie, was killed. He said Ronnie and him were good friends. Vasquez Said, ” Ronnie always told him, ” I’m gonna get you home”. Vaquez said , ” he saved me and blessed me with the gift of life.” He stood by his promise.” Tears rolled down the cheeks of everyone there. Pastor Diego Mesa, “spoke of a persons life not being measured by the duration , but by the donation they have made.” Pastor Diego said,”Ronnie chose to go into the army ,and that became on of his greatest donations.” Col. Rick Kaiser said Ronnie was a very special young man for many reasons. “He was a paratrooper,” Kaiser said. “Few people have the courage to jump out of an airplane at 800 feet, especially in the dark but Ronnie did.”” Ronnie was also rough terrain certified, which meant he jump out of planes into brush and trees to clear routes.” What I can’t tell you is how many lives Ronnie saved.” Col. Kaiser said. Ronnie’s uncle Rick, stepped up to the podium and was so chocked up with emotion , he could hardly speak. He proceeded to tell the audience ” How proud he was of his nephew.”
Ronnie’s Funeral Procession
At National Cemetery in Riverside, California. Ronnie , was laid to rest. Ronnie was given full military honors. I had never been to a fallen soldiers funeral , much less a friend. Tears filled my eyes as I watched a horse and buggy carrying the flag covered casket bearing the body of Ronnie Pallares. Members of the Army’s 27th Engineer Battalion carried the casket to the platform where a short eulogy was read, and flag folding ceremony was held. Ronnie’s mother Brenda Pallares, was presented with the flag that covered her sons casket. She was conforted by her son Danny and young daughter Alexandria. The tears continued to roll down my cheeks, as I continued to watch my friend, and her family and the pain that showed so clearly on their faces. This was the first funeral of a fallen soldier, that I had attended. My heart was broken for my friend. I could only imagine what she was feeling. No mother should ever have to bury her son. Ronnie Pallares died doing what he wanted to do. He served his country with pride and honor. We salute you and thank you, Army Spc. Ronnie J. Pallares. May you rest in peace.