The Rotary Club of Santa Clarita Valley and Elks Lodge 2379 will be honoring U.S. Army specialist Rudy A. Acosta in dedication ceremonies at the Rotary Garden at the city’s activities center at 11:30, Wednesday May 11. Rudy was killed March 19, fighting for our country and freedom in Afghanistan.
A plaque with the 19-year-old Canyon Country resident’s name will be placed in the garden alongside 10 other local military heroes who have died since the wars in the Middle East began. The plaques honoring those Santa Clarita Valley warriors were placed during services held on Aug. 25, 2010. The plaques comprise a special section dedicated to the Fallen Heroes of the Santa Clarita Valley.
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The Rotary Garden stands on a plateau above the Aquatics Center in the George Caravalho Sports Complex. Community members will attend a brief ceremony near the garden, then adjourn to the Activities Center for lunch. Along with the plaque, Rotary president Barry Gribbons will present the Acosta family with a commemorative certificate. Santa Clarita Elks Lodge 2379 officials will present the family with the Elks Medal of Valor.
Acosta is the son of Dante and Carolyn Acosta of Canyon Country. Rudy completed Army Basic Training August 11, 2009, and was deployed to Afghanistan on June 10, of this year. A combat medic, Rudy dreamed of one day becoming a doctor, but that dream died in Kandahar Province on March 19. Cpl. Donald R. Mickler Jr. of Ohio also died in the surprise attack and four other U.S. soldiers were wounded.
Rudy’s plaque in the Rotary Garden will join those dedicated to his fallen comrades, including Army SSGT Brian Cody Prosser, Army PFC Stephen E. Wyatt, USMC LCpl Richard P. Slocum, Army PFC Cole W. Larsen, Army SPC Jose Ricardo Flores-Mejia, Army SGT Dennis L. Sellen, Jr., Army SPC Stephen E. Colley, Army SCT John M. Conant, Army SGT Ian Timothy D. Gelig, and USMC PFC Jake Suter.
Cost of the luncheon is $20 per person. Reservations should be phoned to the Rotary answering service: 661-251-5086. For more information, one may contact Rotary Veterans chairman Jim Lentini, 661-254-7633.