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Old 08-05-2005, 06:12 AM
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Default Silver Star arrives for fallen Marine

Silver Star arrives for fallen Marine
By PHILIP FEROLITO
YAKIMA HERALD-REPUBLIC


WAPATO ? One year ago today, Marine Corps Sgt. Yadir Reynoso was killed in Iraq after making himself a human target so his fellow troops could take cover.

The troops had battled for about 45 minutes in close quarters with rebel soldiers in a Najaf cemetery when the orders came to pull out.

But Reynoso's unit, without a radio, didn't get the word. They kept on fighting, using small machine guns, grenades and shoulder-fired rockets.

While other units fell back, Reynoso's men were eventually pinned down on all sides by the insurgents.

Finally, the 27-year-old ordered his men to withdraw. Providing cover fire so they could escape, Reynoso was hit twice by enemy fire, once in the face, once in the neck.

His courageous act was no surprise, said his sister, Patty. Her brother, a 1997 Wapato High School graduate, wouldn't run out on anyone, she said.

"That was him," she said of the young father who left behind four small children. "That was describing him in detail ? that was his character."

Tonight his heroism will be recognized with a Silver Star medal that his parents, Jose and Gloria Reynoso, will receive during a public ceremony and dinner at Sea Mar Community Center in Wapato.

The Silver Star recognizes gallant acts against an enemy of the United States while engaged in military conflict.

For Patty, the recognition symbolizes Sgt. Reynoso's courage in shielding others with his own life.

"There's people that don't understand just what my brother went through," she said. "What my brother did, we would like people to understand."

The recognition of valor comes on the anniversary of the brave Marine's death ? a day that the small farm town of Wapato has designated "Sgt. Yadir Reynoso Day."

"My parents, they feel sad because of the day, but I think (the medal) overpasses that because they are proud of him," said Patty. "He's the family hero."

After a 5 p.m. Mass at St. Peter Claver Church, Reynoso's family and friends will walk over to the community center for the presentation of the medal and a dinner.

There, members of the Yakama Warriors Association ? a group of veterans from the Yakama reservation who help folks retrieve military records ? will raise military flags in Reynoso's honor before dinner. A mariachi band will also perform.

"The community is very much invited to attend and pay respects to the family and the Marine who was killed," said center director Juan Orozco, who suggested the honorary day.

Yadir was the third Marine from the Yakima Valley to die in Iraq. Lance Cpl. Dustin Sides, 22, of Yakima and Staff Sgt. Marvin Best, 33, of Prosser died in Iraq last June.


n Reporter Philip Ferolito can be reached by phone at 837-6111, or by e-mail at pferolito@yakima-herald.com.
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Old 08-06-2005, 12:42 AM
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Marine Corps Sgt. Yadir Reynoso Salute! rip and thank you for your service and dedication "semper fi"
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Old 08-06-2005, 04:33 AM
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Painful, proud moment
By MARK MOREY
YAKIMA HERALD-REPUBLIC


WAPATO ? Racked by tears on the first anniversary of her son's death, Gloria Reynoso accepted his Silver Star from a U.S. Marine Corps representative who said even he struggled to understand the gallant sacrifice that Sgt. Yadir Reynoso had made that day in Iraq.

But his fellow Marines know this about their comrade in arms:

"That was what he had been trained to do, and he would do it again," said Chief Warrant Officer Daniel Rybicki, who presented the posthumous decoration Friday eve-ning to Reynoso's mother and father, Jose, during a ceremony at the Sea Mar Community Center in Wapato.

Yadir Reynoso, a 27-year-old father of four who graduated from Wapato High School in 1997, died Aug. 5, 2004, during a firefight in a Najaf cemetery. Out of radio contact, he and his Marines did not realize that they had been directed to fall back.

As insurgents advanced, Reynoso kept firing long enough for his men to take cover, but he caught two rounds in the neck and face.

Rybicki noted that only 24 Silver Stars have been awarded during Operation Iraqi Freedom ? a sign of the prestige bestowed upon its recipients.

About 60 relatives, veterans and others attended the decoration ceremony, where the colors where presented by the Yakama Warriors Association, a veterans group.

"The memory of Sgt. Reynoso belongs to the entire community," said Wapato Mayor Jesse Farias, part of the city council that declared Aug. 5 "Sgt. Yadir Reynoso Day" in Wapato.

Ricardo Garcia, executive director of Radio KDNA in Granger, told Reynoso's parents that had their son lived another five years or 20 years, he would still have been the same responsible, loving person they remembered.

For other troops, students and residents of this country, "Your son remains in the history of the United States," Garcia said.

Patty Reynoso, one of the Yadir's siblings, said events like the decoration ceremony are bittersweet.

"It makes it easier in the sense that we have the support of the community, but at the same time it makes it hard because it brings back what we were thinking when we were notified of the incident," she said.

The family raised money to purchase a plaque honoring Reynoso that they plan to post at the community center.

The inscription on the plaque reads in part: "In remembrance of our hero."


* Reporter Mark Morey can be reached by phone at 577-7671, or by e-mail at mmorey@yakima-herald.com.


GORDON KING/Yakima Herald-Republic
Gloria Reynoso embraces Marine Chief Warrant Officer Daniel Rybicki on Friday evening in Wapato, after Rybicki presented her with a Silver Star that was awarded posthumously to her son, Sgt. Yadir Reynoso. He was killed in Iraq a year ago and was awarded the Silver Star for bravery during a battle against Iraqi insurgents.
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