Remembering the Life and Memory of...
SPC Richard P. Orengo
Hometown: Perth Amboy, New Jersey/Toa Alta, PR
Age: 32 years old
Died: June 26, 2003 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Unit: 755th Military Police Company, Arecibo, Puerto Rico
The Puerto Rico National Guard buried its first combat casualty since the Korean War yesterday as hundreds of mourners from police officers to a motorcycle gang paid last respects at the U.S. territory's national cemetery.
Spc. Richard P. Orengo, 32, of north-coast Toa Alta, died in a gunbattle while investigating a car theft on June 26 in An Najaf, Iraq, about 100 miles southwest of Baghdad.
Orengo was born in Perth Amboy.
Orengo was kneeling, returning fire, when an enemy bullet ricocheted and struck him in the neck, Brig. Gen. Francisco Marquez said. He was decorated with a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for heroism.
Orengo joined the National Guard in 1990 and served in Kosovo in a peacekeeping mission.
In civilian life, Orengo was a motorcycle police officer since 1996 in Bayamon, a San Juan suburb. A squadron of about 60 police motorcycles led Orengo's hearse in humming formation to the Puerto Rico National Cemetery in Bayamon.