Memorial Service Held for Soldier
A Puerto Rico Army National Guard sergeant was remembered during a memorial service April 11, 2010. Sergeant Roberto Diaz Boria, 1st Battalion, 65th Infantry Regiment, died April 8 while stationed in Mombasa, Kenya. The cause of death is under investigation.
The service was filled to capacity. Among those attending were fellow 1-65th members, joined by representatives from the camp's joint forces including the Air Force, Navy, Army, and several coalition partners. The U.S Ambassador to Djibouti also attended.
Diaz, a team leader with Charlie Company, was remembered during the ceremony as a top performer who constantly sought opportunities to be a good leader to his fellow soldiers.
He always had a genuine interest for his soldiers' wellbeing, said Captain Luis Loyola, the Headquarters/Headquarters Company Commander.
"Without a doubt in our minds, we have lost a great leader, a great human being, and a true friend," Loyola said.
Battalion Commander Major Alberto Irizarry also commented on Diaz’s effect on his fellow Soldiers.
"He loved to be surrounded by people and friends. He was the spark of any activity and enjoyed making friends," said Irizarry. "We will miss you." Fellow Solder Sergeant Robert Creighton spoke of Diaz as a top shelf NCO, a wise man and a good friend.
"I will always remember 'D' as caring, generous and super friendly," said Creighton." [He was] always up for a challenge and eager to lead the way." Specialist Nelson Vazquez, also spoke of his best friend and the times they spent together during drill weekends and off duty time.
"[Being with him] was the best time of my life," said Vazquez, who is friends with Diaz’s family.
Diaz enlisted in the Air Force in 1988 before serving in the Navy Reserve. He later joined the Army and became a member of the Puerto Rico Army National Guard in February 2009.
During the service, the company first sergeant called the Last Roll.
1st Sergeant Roberto Diaz called for attendance. "Sergeant Creighton … Specialist Vazquez … Sergeant Diaz … Sergeant Roberto Diaz … Sergeant Roberto Diaz Boria …"
Each attending member whose name was called answered, but when Diaz was called for the third time, Navy Petty Officer 1st Class David Fedora sounded taps.
The Last Roll is a final tribute paid by soldiers to their fallen comrade. Its origin is from the accountability roll call conducted by unit first sergeants following combat. The Last Roll is called with conviction held by soldiers that all unit members will be accounted for and none will ever be forgotten.