Aviano airman remembered at base service

Hundreds of servicemembers and civilians gathered April 3, 2014, to remember the life of Staff Sgt. Heber Rosales who died during a medical procedure at the 31st Medical Group facility in Aviano, Italy, on March 26, 2014. Rosales, an El Paso, Texas, native and a munitions support equipment maintenance supervisor, was assigned to Aviano's 31st Munitions Squadron.

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy — An airman who died last week during surgery at the base’s hospital was remembered fondly Thursday by colleagues at a memorial service.

Staff Sgt. Heber N. Rosales, a maintenance supervisor with the 31st Munitions Squadron, died March 26. The 31st Fighter Wing declined to provide more information about the death, citing an ongoing investigation and privacy laws.

Rosales, 27, a native of El Paso, Texas, had prior assignments at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., and Osan Air Base in Korea, a release said.

“Staff Sgt. Heber ‘Rosie’ Rosales will live on in the legacy he created to every airman that will carry on his example of excellence,” Brig. Gen. Jon Norman, the wing commander, was quoted as saying at the service.

“Always give it your all and leave nothing on the table. Your legacy will be the memory of those who knew you. Make your memories count and care for more than you care for yourself. Take time to teach, to listen and to tell. If you do that, you will always honor the memory of Staff Sgt. Rosales,” he said.

The 18-bed, $36.9 million hospital opened in June 2006. The facility does not offer emergency room services, referring patients who need urgent care to the nearby Italian hospital in Pordenone.


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