Hundreds of Las Cruces and Doña Ana County residents lined about 11 miles of road Monday, from Las Cruces International Airport to Getz Funeral Home, on Bowman Avenue as the body of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Antonio Rey Rodriguez returned home.
Sgt. 1st Class Rodriguez, 28, was one of two U.S. soldiers who were killed in action last week in Afghanistan. Sgt. 1st Class Rodriguez was born and raised in Las Cruces and was a highly decorated soldier.
Students at Fairacres Elementary School, where Rodriguez attended classes as a boy, lined the funeral procession route and displayed small homemade hearts that contained images of the American flag. Residents held telephone cameras to take photos or videos as the funeral procession passed.
Funeral services for Sgt. 1st Class Rodriguez will be conducted Thursday and Friday. A rosary will be said at 7 p.m. Thursday at Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral, 1240 S. Espina St. The funeral Mass will be at noon Friday at the Cathedral.
Our deepest condolences go out o his family and our grateful thanks for his military service to our country..