From the Soldier side: Every year on Memorial day I usually ask good citizens if they know what this holiday is for. They usually say something like: “to have a bar b q?”Maybe before I was exposed to war, I might have thought the same thing. I lost two friends in Iraq. One was killed before I got there, the other I made friends with in Iraq. Both were really good people.
Sergeant First Class Michael C. Ottolini
Company A, 579th Engineer Battalion (the CI Roller Dude's old company)
It is with deepest sympathy that The California National Guard announces the death of Sergeant First Class Michael Ottolini, age 45, on 10 November 2004, died as a result of wounds received during an improvised explosive device (IED) attack while serving with his unit in Balad, Iraq. He is survived by his wife, and two children, and his father and mother.
SFC Ottolini joined the California Army National Guard on 17 December 1976 as a combat engineer in the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 579th Engineer Battalion, Santa Rosa. He served with the 579th Engineer Battalion during his entire military career. SFC Ottolini was an exemplary soldier who epitomized professionalism, dedication, and devotion to family. His unit pride was evident to all, and he is remembered for bringing his entire family (immediate and extended) to Battalion social events. He was an extremely personable individual and was well liked by his fellow soldiers. SFC Ottolini was ordered to active duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom on 17 January 2004.
Mike was a good leader. I first worked with him on one of the CA Guard call outs for flood duty in the late 90’s. He worked harder than any 5 NCO’s I’d ever known before.
Roberto Arizola Jr
June 8, 2005
Died in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV.
Roberto Arizola, Jr. liked to play video games and sports with his 7-year-old son. His family delayed the boy's birthday party so Arizola could be there. "He was always with his family," said his wife, Monica. But on June 8, a day before he was scheduled to return from Iraq, Arizola was killed in an explosion near his vehicle in Baghdad. The 31-year-old from Laredo, Texas, was based at Fort Gordon. Arizola graduated from high school in 1992 and had enlisted in 1996. He had been a border patrol agent in Laredo before being sent to Iraq. "We just can't believe it was his last day there," said his mother, Cecilia Arizola. "He was a good person. Everybody loved him." Arizola was deployed to Iraq in May 2004. He briefly returned in December and kept in frequent touch through phone calls and e-mail. "He was a great father, great son, great soldier, just a great person," said his brother, Ricardo
Roberto and I had started a conversation that we never got to finish. My advice, treat every friend and loved one like it is the last day you will ever get to see them....because it might be.
Memorial Day 2011- CI Roller Dude