Memorial service honors Rota sailor
January 7, 2005
NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain — Petty Officer 3rd Class Dexter Orasing, an aircraft fuels operator, didn’t have the most glamorous job in the Navy.
But if not for the sailor nicknamed “Tiny Tim,” and others like him, planes would never have gotten off the ground and troops in places such as Iraq wouldn’t have received the supplies and equipment they needed.
Orasing often worked behind the scenes, whether it was in the Navy or at his church. But family and friends who knew him said Thursday that the 27-year-old sailor quietly did his job well, often putting the needs of others ahead of his own.
Orasing, who was stationed at Rota, fell unconscious and died on New Year’s Day after attending a party with his wife and friends.
“He was a man who did things that we sometimes don’t notice and don’t see. … He was always doing things to serve,” said the Rev. Robert Rogers, pastor at the First Baptist Church of Rota.
Family, friends and co-workers remembered Orasing as a dedicated father, loving husband and generous friend during a memorial service Thursday at the base chapel. He leaves behind his wife, Stephanie, and their three children: Shelton, 6; Matthew, 3; and Gabriel, 6 months. He served in the Navy for more than seven years.
Orasing, a native of La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines, grew up in Houston and enlisted in the Navy on Aug. 22, 1997.
Between 1998 and 2000, he served aboard the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy, where he received a letter of commendation for “superior performance” as an aviation fuels filter operator. He arrived in Rota in October 2002 and worked as a dispatcher and fuel truck operator.
During his time in Spain, he was part of a team that pumped more than 120 million gallons of fuel to planes — many of them heading to or from the Persian Gulf region.
Orasing was known a “Tiny Tim” because he was only 5 foot 2. Friends and co-workers, who also called him “Dex,” said Orasing was good for a laugh and would sometimes loan his car to friends who needed wheels.
Orasing is one of three people from the base who died in the past week. Petty Officer 2nd Class Roland Atuwo died on New Year’s Day after his car ran off the side of the road near the base. Atuwo, 26, originally from Virginia, was a construction electrician with the base’s Public Works Department. He served six years in the Navy.
The base planned a memorial service Friday for Atuwo at the base chapel.
On Tuesday, Noelia Ruiz Martinez, wife of a U.S. servicemember stationed in Rota, died from injuries suffered in a two-car accident a week ago. Her husband remains hospitalized in Cadiz.