July 8, 2012
Killed when enemy forces attacked their unit in Maidan Shahr, Wardak province, Afghanistan, with an improvised explosive device.
|From The El Paso Times elpasotimes.com 07/11/12:
Staff Sgt. Ricardo Seija: Fallen soldier leaves behind bride, son
By Daniel Borunda \ El Paso Times
POSTED: 07/11/2012 12:00:00 AM MDT
Army Staff Sgt. Ricardo Seija was looking forward to visiting his family in Florida after returning home from Afghanistan.
Seija, 31, was one of six soldiers from Fort Bliss killed when a roadside bomb hit an armored vehicle in Afghanistan on Sunday, according to news reports from the Tampa area.
Seija, who was known as "Ricky," was one of two soldiers from the Tampa area killed in the attack.
The bombing was one of the single deadliest attacks on soldiers from Fort Bliss in Afghanistan.
According to The Tampa Tribune, Seija was reportedly the only soldier to survive the initial blast, but died later.
Seija's parents told Tampa's Fox 13 television that their son loved the Army "300 percent" and that he planned to make the military his career. Seija grew up in Chicago and moved to Tampa as a teenager. His family said he finished high school early to join the Army.
Seija had wed earlier this year and planned to take his bride to visit his parents, his family told Fox 13. He is the father of an 8-year-old boy, Ricardo Jr.
Seija was killed in the same attack that killed Army Spc. Clarence Williams III of Brooksville, Fla.
|From WFTS Tampa Bay ABC TV abcactionnews.com
Army Sgt. Ricardo Seija killed by IED in Afghanistan
5:39 PM, Jul 10, 2012
TAMPA - Every Wednesday, Ignacia Seija talked to her deployed son, Army Staff Sgt. Ricardo Seija, 31, via phone. This past Wednesday she missed his call. Four days later, her son was killed by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.
Seija, a 1999 graduate of Leto High, deployed to Afghanistan in March and was expected to visit his parents in Tampa next month.
"My heart is broken," said Ignacia.
Seija was born in Chicago and moved to Tampa as a teenager. At Leto High School, he joined the wrestling team. He also graduated a year early so he could enlist in the Army -- something he had his heart set on since he was a young child.
"He would play with his toys, his GI Joes, and say, 'Mommy, that's me,'" Ignacia recalled.
Ignacia said Ricardo was almost a twin of his father and shared the same quiet personality. Earlier this year, Ricardo got married and was going to surprise his parents when he returned with the news. He was stationed in Ft. Bliss, Texas, and lived with his new wife and son Ricky, 8.
Ricardo previously deployed to South Korea, Puerto Rico and Germany.
His mother is expected to travel to Dover AFB in Delaware Wednesday to meet her son's body when it arrives.
Funeral arrangements have been arranged and services will be held in Tampa, however, the date and time are not being released.
Ricardo was killed in the same roadside bombing that also claimed the life of Sgt. Clarence Williams III. Williams was a 2008 Hernando High School graduate.
Four other American troops were also killed by that roadside bomb.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
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