Arriaga, Richard, SPC

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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Field Artillery
Last Primary MOS
13F10-Fire Support Specialist
Last MOS Group
Field Artillery (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
2003-2003, 4th Battalion, 42nd Field Artillery Regiment/HHB
Service Years
2001 - 2003
Official/Unofficial US Army Certificates
Operation Iraqi Freedom


One Overseas Service Bar

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
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Casualty Info
Home Town
Ganado, TX
Last Address
Ganado, TX

Casualty Date
Sep 18, 2003
Hostile, Died
Multiple Fragmentation Wounds
Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)
Location of Interment
Assumption Cemetery - Ganado, Texas
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

4th Infantry Division

 Unofficial Badges 

Artillery Shoulder Cord

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Action 1st Award

 Unit Assignments
4th Infantry Division4th Battalion, 42nd Field Artillery Regiment
  2003-2003, 4th Infantry Division
  2003-2003, 4th Battalion, 42nd Field Artillery Regiment/HHB
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  2003-2003 OIF/Transition of Iraq (2003-04)/Operation Planet X
  2003-2003 OIF/Liberation of Iraq (2003)
  2003-2003 OIF/Transition of Iraq (2003-04)/Operation Desert Scorpion
  2003-2003 OIF/Transition of Iraq (2003-04)/Operation Peninsula Strike
  2003-2003 OIF/Transition of Iraq (2003-04)/Operation Soda Mountain
  2003-2003 OIF/Transition of Iraq (2003-04)
  2004-2009 FOB Broomhead, Tikrit, Iraq
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Army Spc. Richard Arriaga

20, of Ganado, Texas; assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 4th Battalion, 42nd Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas; killed Sept. 18 during an ambush by small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades in Tikrit, Iraq. Two other soldiers from his unit also were killed.

Spc. Richard Arriaga never met his daughter, but he already was showing signs of spoiling her. While he was in Iraq, he called home to Ganado, Texas, every week to check on his family, said Arriaga's aunt, Dolly Salinas. He was especially concerned about his newborn daughter. "He'd say, ‘I want you to pick her up right now,'" Salinas said. "He would have been a good father. He would have spoiled that child." Arriaga, 20, died Sept. 18 during an ambush near Tikrit, Iraq. A week before he left for Iraq, Arriaga married his girlfriend, Maggie, so that the baby girl she was going to give birth to would be born with his name. Little Bianca Mia was a month old when he was killed. "He wanted everything to be perfect, just in case something happened to him," Salinas said. After Arriaga's death, his sister decided to name her baby boy Richard.— Associated Press

SPC Arriaga, SGT Thompson and SPC Wright were all ambushed just south-east of Tikrit along the Tigris River on the night of 18 September 2003.

They were all assigned to HHB 4/42 FA, and were attached to G Troop 10th Cav.

The vehicle they were riding in was a standard hard-back HMMWV, not an up-armored version.  They were hit by RPG and small arms fire.  

One RPG round penetrated the door on SPC Arriaga's side of the vehicle, passed through him, and struck SGT Thompson in the passenger side - without detonating, killing both men.

SPC Wright was in the gunner hatch, and was caught by shrapnel from another RPG that detonated on the vehicle.

A fourth member of the Crew, PFC Cross (I think was his name) was able to exit the vehicle and return fire, killing some of the ambush force.  He was the lone survivor of the vehicle, and was recognized for valor.

All 3 men were great soldiers, knew their jobs, and were great to work with.  We miss them all.

SPC Arriaga had recently transferred over to G Troop - and was the former driver of a 113 that SSG White was killed in back in August of 2003.  SPC Arriaga had normally driven that vehicle, and wasn't in it when it encountered an Anti-tank mine.  SSG White was KIA on 13 Aug 2003 in that incident.

AG Franklin, Trey (DA Civilian), SSG USA(Ret) 

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