SSG Larry Rougle
06 May 1982 – 23 October 2007
SSG Larry Rougle was killed in action five years ago. For those who knew and loved him the loss and pain doessn't seemed to get any easier. It never will.
SSG Rougle was on his sixth deployment when he was killed in action on 23 October 2007 during Operation ROCK Avalanche. SSG Rougle had deployed to Iraq three times and was on his third deployment to Afghanistan.
SSG Rougle joined the Army in 1999. According to his brother, David Rougle, "It was the best thing for him," David Rougle said. "He was proud to serve. He believed in what he was doing. And he would debate with anyone who said anything differently."
SSG Rougle's father and an uncle both served our nation. His father, Ismael, served in Vietnam. His uncle, Fernando Lopez, served in the first Gulf War. Both knew the cost of war. Both had lost friends in combat. SSG Rougle's father didn't encourage him to join the Army but was proud when he did.
In the documentary Restrepo, SFC Kevin Rice (then SSG Rice) told the film makers, "He was one of the best, if not the best," Staff Sgt. Kevin Rice told Hetherington and Junger in the film. "I think that's what was tough for a lot of people, was kind of knowing in the back of your mind 'well if the best guy we have out here just got killed, where's that put me? What's going to happen to me, you know? What's going to happen to the guys on my left and my right?'"
At the Memorial Service in Afghanistan for SSG Rougle, SGT Joshua Brennan and SPC Hugo "Doc" Mendoza, SSG Michael Gabel said, "I will not be bitter. I will not shed a tear of sorrow. I am proud to have known such a good man and a warrior to the bitter end. Until we see each other again, sky soldiers!"
Only a few weeks later, on 12 December 2007, SSG Gabel died in combat as the result of a roadside bomb.
Arlington National Cemetery's website has a series of reports and photos about SSG Rougle here. I hope you will take the time to go to those links and read more about this American Hero who was loved and respected by so many and who is missed by legions of battle buddies and friends as much today as he has been any day since he gave his life for this nation.
In 2011 I had the honor of visiting SSG Rougle's gravesite to pay my respects, deliver a message from one of his battle buddies and to place a red rose for love and a yellow rose for friendship on behalf of his battle buddy.
SSG Rougle is survived by his daughter, Carmin, his parents Nancy and Ismael Rougle; his brother David Rougle; a godson, cousins, and aunts and uncles, including his Aunt Char and Uncle Joel Rodriguez, members of St. Francis Xavier Parish. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, November 8, 2007.
SSG Larry I Rougle
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment
SSG Larry Ismael Rougle was born on 6 May 1982 in West Jordan, Utah. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on 14 March 2000.
After SSG Rougle completed Basic Infantry Training, Advanced Individual Training, Airborne School, and the Ranger Indoctrination Program he was assigned to B Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment as a Rifleman. He was later assigned as a Team Leader in the same unit in June of 2003. He deployed numerous times while with the 75th Ranger Regiment, to include OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. In 2004, he reported to the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vicenza, Italy and was assigned to 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry – The ROCK.
SSG Rougle served in multiple green tab leadership positions in The ROCK – Able Company as a Squad Leader during OPERATION ENDURING FREEOM VI and most recently, HHC as a Scout Team Leader during OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM VIII.
SSG Rougle’s awards include: Army Commendation Medal for Valor, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal (2), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Pathfinder Badge and the Senior Parachutist Badge. SSG Rougle was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Service and the Purple Heart.
REST IN PEACE BRAVE WARRIOR. YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!