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Army Sgt. Ariel Rico

Died November 28, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

25, of El Paso, Texas; assigned to 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), based in Fort Campbell, Ky.; killed Nov. 28 during an enemy mortar attack in Mosul, Iraq.

Texas soldier killed in Iraq

Associated Press

EL PASO, Texas — A West Texas soldier who died in a mortar attack in Iraq had planned to return to his West Texas home and pursue a law enforcement career, his widow says.

The last time Army Sgt. Ariel Rico communicated with his wife Jessica was by e-mail. She said she still can’t believe her husband won’t be coming home to her and the couple’s 7-year-old daughter, Jadelyn, in March with the rest of his unit.

“I just pray for other people, that (the soldiers) all come home safely,” Jessica Rico told the Clarksville, Tenn. Leaf-Chronicle.

She said she hopes her husband, a 1996 Del Valle High School graduate, will be buried at Fort Bliss National Cemetery in their hometown.

Rico, who was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, based in Fort Campbell, Ky., died Nov. 28 from injuries sustained when four mortar shells pounded the division’s base in Mosul, Iraq.

Richard Lucero of Mesa, Ariz., said he grew up with the soldier and his older brother by five years, Staff Sgt. Jose “Bobby” Rico, in the Lower Valley.

“He was in every sport you can think of, a great athlete just like his brother. He was always following in Jose’s footsteps,” Lucero told the El Paso Times. “After Jose went into the Army, Ariel followed him.”

Ariel Rico was the third El Paso native known to have been killed in Iraq since the war began.

Jessica Rico and her husband were high school sweethearts who had been married six years.

In his last e-mail, she said, he had just mastered using a chat room to communicate.

“He was saying that he really missed us,” she said.

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