By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Aug. 31, 2021: A Caribbean American U.S. marine was among the 13 American servicemembers who were killed by a terror attack while processing Afghan men, women, and children for evacuation to the United States. A vigil to honor her will be held today, Tuesday Aug. 31, 2021, at 7 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Massachusetts.
Dominican American Sergeant Johanny Rosario, also known as Sergeant Johanny Rosario Pichardo, was among those killed in action. Rosario was just 25 and from Lawrence, Massachusetts. She graduated Lawrence High School in 2014 and spent a semester at Bridgewater State University before enlisting as a full-time U.S. Marine.
Austin Carroll Keeley, a captain in the Marine Corps who serves as deputy director of the Recruiters School, Marine Corps Recruit Deport, in San Diego, took to both Twitter and Facebook to share more about Rosario.
“I knew her as Sergeant Rosie, and I had the honor of serving as her Officer in Charge for 15 months before she headed to the Middle East,” he wrote. “She was fiercely proud of her heritage as a Dominican-American and wholly devoted to her mother, brothers, sister, and niece.”
Rosario he said took online classes at Columbia College throughout her enlistment. At the time of her death, she had finished 83 of her 120 required credits, all while on active duty.
Initial reports indicate she was a member of the Female Engagement Team screening women and children for evacuation to the United States. She helped over 30,000 reach safety before she was killed by a suicide bomber in front of Abbey Gate at Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 26th.
“Sergeant Rosie, I’m so proud of the Marine you became. I’ll forever be inspired by the work you did, the lives you saved, and the sacrifice you made. Thank you for everything. Semper fidelis Marine,” Keeley added.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker called Rosario “a Massachusetts hero gone too soon.”
Lawrence Mayor Kendrys Vasquez issued a statement saying he was “heartbroken” at the loss of “a daughter of our city.”
“She’s going to be home soon,” said her brother, Erick Rosario.
“My sister, she lost her life for the United States and … my mom’s just been receiving nothing but bad news, you know, left and right, and it’s not right,” Erick Rosario said.
Sonia Guzmán, the Dominican Republic’s ambassador to the United States, tweeted the Dominican community shares in the family’s pain. “Peace to your soul!” she wrote in Spanish.