Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Raymond A Salerno III

Pittsburg, Pensylvania

July 16, 2006

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
27 Army Spc


 Died stateside of injuries suffered in Iraq.

SPC Raymond A. Salerno III
April 18, 1979 – July 16, 2006
Memorial Ceremony held on July 27, 2006
Kelley Hill Chapel

SPC Raymond A. Salerno III was born on 18 April 1979, in Pittsburg, PA and was the proud son of Ray and Robin Salerno. Some of his hobbies included playing basketball, football, and baseball. SPC Salerno enlisted in the United States Army on 4 May 2004. He attended and completed Basic Training at Fort Benning, Georgia as an Infantryman.

Upon completion of Basic Training he was assigned to Alpha Company, 115
Infantry Regiment on August 28, 2004. 

On January 15, 2005, SPC Salerno deployed to Iraq to participate in Operation Iraqi Freedom III as part the 3rd Brigade Combat Team. During the deployment he served as a M240 Gunner and a Team Leader. On October 17, 2005, SPC Salerno suffered third degree burns from an IED blast while conducting a combat mission in Iraq. He survived this attack and was immediately redeployed stateside for extensive treatment. After returning home SPC Salerno continued to serve his country proudly despite the injuries received during combat. 

His military awards include the Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon and Combat Infantryman Badge. SPC Salerno is survived by his parents, Raymond and Robin Salerno, 23559 Bellaire Loop, Land O Lakes, FL 346309 (Reported by 1LT Patrick Holliway, HQ, 115)
Spc. Raymond Salerno of Land O'Lakes, Minnesota was a graduate of Land O' Lakes High School. He was seriously injured in Iraq while serving his country in the United States Army and was presented with a Purple Heart for those injuries. Raymond suffered third-degree burns on his hands, arm, and leg when his Bradley fighting vehicle hit a roadside bomb north of Baghdad in October 2005. He was recovering and went for observation to Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas, where his heart failed and he died unexpectedly at age 27. His death was reportedly caused by the stress from injuries he received while serving in Iraq with the United States Army. In October, the 27-year-old Salerno was injured by a roadside bomb and had been recuperating in the United States. His health had steadily been improving before his death and had even proposed to the mother of his seven month old son. He is survived by his fiancée and son, his parents, Raymond and Roberta; brothers, Christopher, Joshua; sister Camille and his grandparents. 
From The Tampa bay Times sptimes.com 07/20/06:

Soldier's injuries lead to heart failure

He had shown marked improvement from severe burns he suffered when his tank blew up in Iraq.

Published July 20, 2006

LAND O'LAKES - A Land O'Lakes soldier who was struck by a roadside bomb in Iraq in October died Sunday of heart failure caused by the stress of his injuries.
He was 27.

Army Spc. Raymond A. Salerno III's death came as a surprise to his family, who said his health had been steadily improving since he suffered third-degree burns on both hands, his left arm and leg when the Bradley tank he was in about 30 miles north of Baghdad hit a roadside bomb.

Salerno's health had improved enough that he could walk around and even travel.

About two months ago, he proposed to Nerea Guerrica of Tampa, the mother of their 7-month-old son, Nikolas.

"He was progressively getting better and better," said Salerno's mother, Robin Salerno. "When she said 'yes' to him he turned back to himself."

On the Fourth of July, he visited his family in Land O'Lakes and held his son.

Salerno graduated from Land O'Lakes High School in 1997, and worked his way up to night supervisor at Response Mail, a direct mail marketing company.

His mother said he joined the Army because he wanted to get a college education. Guerrica said he talked about going to the police academy and earning a pilot's license.

"Whatever he did he did well, and he did that for the military," said his father, Raymond Salerno Jr. "I'm so proud of him being a soldier."

After Salerno was injured, he was taken to Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, Texas. His mother stayed for six weeks, nursing him back to health and changing his bandages, a process that sometimes took 10 hours.

As Salerno improved, he went back to his company at Fort Benning, Ga. Gradually, he took on duties such as answering the phone, his mother said.

"He was happy to get back to Fort Benning," Salerno Jr. said. "He had a lot of friends there; they were like his brothers."

Earlier this month, he went back to Brooke Army Medical Center for observation, where his heart failed and he died unexpectedly.

Inside their Land O'Lakes home, Salerno's family described him Wednesday as caring and kindhearted, and said he had a strong faith in God. He sent a birthday card this month to Guerrica. She received it before he died.

"I love you, and miss you. And I will see you soon. Until then I will see you in my dreams," he wrote.

Salerno is also survived by brothers Christopher and Joshua, and a sister, Camille.

A viewing will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Loyless Funeral Home in Land O'Lakes. A service will be at 10 a.m. Monday at Loyless, followed by a burial at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell.

Salerno, Jr. said his son's entire company plans to travel from Fort Benning for the service.

[Last modified July 20, 2006, 07:13:29]
Tribute To Spc. Raymond Salerno Iii Of Land O’Lakes, Florida
Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor an American soldier who gave his life in service to our Nation.Army Specialist Raymond Salerno III of Land O'Lakes, Florida recently passed away following an extensive battle to recover from wounds sustained during operations in Iraq. Specialist Salerno was 27 years old, and leaves behind a fiancee, a 7-month-old son, and a grieving family.While on patrol in Iraq in October, Specialist Salerno's tank was struck by a roadside bomb, sustaining third-degree burns over much of his body. While recovering in Fort Benning, Georgia, Specialist Salerno had recovered enough to perform basic tasks like answering telephones. His death came as a shock to everyone who knew him.A dedicated wrestler, Specialist Salerno graduated from Land O'Lakes High School in 1997. Following his high school career, he worked at Response Mail, a direct mail marketing company. Yearning to one day gain a college education, Specialist Salerno joined the Army. His dream was to potentially go to the police academy and earn a pilot's license.Specialist Salerno leaves behind his fiancee Nerea Guerrica and their son Nikolas; parents Robin and Raymond Salerno; brothers Christopher and Joshua; and sister Camille.Mr. Speaker, it is soldiers like Specialist Raymond Salerno III who have volunteered to protect the freedoms that all Americans hold dear.While brave men and women like Ray have perished in the cause of freedom and liberty, his family, friends and loved ones should know that this Congress will never forget their sacrifice and commitment.

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