Twentynine Palms -- The Navy Marine Corps Medal was awarded to the family of Staff Sgt. Enrico Antonio Rojo during a memorial ceremony held aboard the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., Jan. 21, 2018.
On Dec. 16, 2016, Rojo, who was described as inspirational, hardworking, and optimistic by his friends and family was on the way to the airport to travel for Christmas when he witnessed a car crash on a busy four-lane highway. Rojo stopped all four lanes of traffic in attempt to help the victim of the crash but as he entered the emergency lane, a car swerved around traffic, into the emergency lane and fatally struck Rojo.
Rojo worked alongside of Staff Sgt. Justin Hayes, 3rd platoon Sgt., Delta Company, 4th Tank Battalion.
“He took being a Marine to heart,” said Hayes, “He would do anything for anyone.”
When Rojo was a Lance Cpl., he deployed with Captain Christopher Silva, inspector instructor, Delta Company, 4th Tank Battalion for six months.
“If he were still around, he would say ‘keep helping others,’” said Silva, “I know that’s what he stood for. I think that’s what he would say if he were still around.”
Rojo’s family said that they saw him as an inspiration. Sgt. Krystal A. Rojo, avionic technician instructor, Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training, sister of Enrico Rojo and mother of a newborn baby, attested to his presence being a drive in her life.
“Anything he wanted to do and everything he accomplished, I wanted to do, too,” Rojo said with a smile on her face, “We were always competing with one another. I think he would be a proud uncle, and he would try to have a kid too.”
Rojo was not only an inspiration and drive for those in his life, but was declared by his mother and father to be inspirational.
“He was determined, that was one of his major attributes,” Miguel A. Rojo, Enrico Rojo’s father said, “He went from a kid who wanted to quit in high school to someone who earned his pilots license.”