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Fallen hero honored, memorialized at Ramstein

An Airman standing behind a podium in front of an audience.

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Mark R. August, 86th Airlift Wing commander, speaks at a road dedication ceremony at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 16, 2020. The newly completed Rodriguez Road was named in remembrance of Maj. Rodolfo I. Rodriguez, former 86th Construction and Training Squadron contingency training flight commander, who was killed by a terrorist bomb in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sept. 20, 2008. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class John R. Wright)

A person standing behind a podium.

Caryn Rodriguez, widow of U.S. Air Force Maj. Rodolfo I. Rodriguez, speaks at a road dedication ceremony memorializing her late husband at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 16, 2020. Ramstein leadership and Kaiserslautern Military Community members attended the ceremony to honor the fallen hero. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class John R. Wright)

A person pulling a cloth cover off of a road sign.

Caryn Rodriguez, widow of U.S. Air Force Maj. Rodolfo I. Rodriguez, unveils the newly installed Rodriguez Road sign at a dedication ceremony at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 16, 2020. Rodriguez, who traveled overseas to be a speaker at the ceremony, revealed the road sign after sharing some words about her late husband. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class John R. Wright)

One person handing another person a coin.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Kathryn M. Kilker, 86th Civil Engineer Squadron commander, coins Caryn Rodriguez, widow of Maj. Rodolfo I. Rodriguez, at a road dedication ceremony at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 16, 2020. As a friend and co-worker of Maj. Rodolfo I. Rodriguez, and someone who was sponsored by him upon her arrival to Ramstein in 2005, Kilker championed for the name Rodriguez Road to honor one of Civil Engineer’s fallen heroes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class John R. Wright)

A person watching a line of vehicles drive up a road.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Sean Katz, 86th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department flight superintendent, watches as a group of Civil Engineer vehicles drive on the recently completed Rodriguez Road during a road dedication ceremony at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 16, 2020. The vehicles were the first to drive on the new road, commemorating the memorialization of Maj. Rodolfo I. Rodriguez, a former 86th Construction and Training Squadron contingency training flight commander, who was killed by a terrorist bomb in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sept. 20, 2008. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class John R. Wright)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- Ramstein leadership and Kaiserslautern Military Community members gathered to honor and memorialize a fallen hero during a road dedication ceremony at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 16, 2020.

The newly completed Rodriguez Road was named in remembrance of Maj. Rodolfo “Rod” I. Rodriguez, former 86th Construction and Training Squadron contingency training flight commander, who was killed by a terrorist bomb in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sept. 20, 2008.

Maj. Rodriguez began his assignment at Ramstein in May 2005, and for the majority of his time here, was the 435th Civil Engineer Squadron, now the 86th Civil Engineer Squadron, readiness flight chief of design and commander.

Brig. Gen. Mark R. August, 86th Airlift Wing commander, remarked that when it came time to decide on a name for the new road, leadership asked the wing for ideas. What came back was a list of Airman’s names – a group of individuals who had certainly offered a great deal of sacrifice to Ramstein Air Base or their particular units. However, one engineer, Maj. Rodolfo Rodriguez, stood out as the clear winner.

Caryn Rodriguez, who was able to make the overseas trip from Colorado to be a guest speaker at the ceremony, revealed the newly installed road sign after sharing some words about her late husband.

“He embodied service before self,” Rodriguez said. “As Gen. George C. Marshall so aptly stated, ‘there is no limit to the good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.’ In life Rod preferred to serve in quiet anonymity and to give others recognition. However, I believe today he is proud.”

After the dedication, Mrs. Rodriguez was presented with a coin by Lt. Col. Kathryn M. Kilker, 86th CES commander, to thank her for being a part of the ceremony.

Kilker advocated for the repair of the road to provide safer access to Ramstein housing.

“We had the opportunity to fix a traffic flow safety problem here at Ramstein by repairing the old base exchange road using some of the Commander in Chief’s Installation Excellence Award funds that we received last year,” Kilker said.

As a friend and co-worker of Rodriguez, and someone who was sponsored by him upon her arrival to Ramstein in 2005, Kilker championed for the name Rodriguez Road to honor one of Civil Engineer’s fallen heroes.

“I think about Rod often, especially being the commander of the 86th CES, which includes Engineering Flight, where I met him,” Kilker said. “He truly left a legacy and made an impact on all of us.”