Master Sergeant Roque Rodriguez-Urena joined the United States Air Force in October 1983 and served his entire career as a medic. He was stationed at bases around the world, including Japan; Omaha, Nebraska; England; and Altus, Oklahoma.
In 1991, Master Sergeant Rodriguez-Urena deployed to Germany in support of the Persian Gulf War and was stationed at an Air Force-operated medical facility, taking care of wounded patients during the Kuwait invasion. He later deployed to Iraq from August 2004 - February 2005 as a shift leader in the Emergency Room at the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group, where he treated thousands of U.S. soldiers, civilians, Iraqi nationals and insurgents.
The overwhelming amount of trauma treated and seen during throughout his career deeply impacted his emotions, but with the help of VA hospital counselors he has learned to open up about his experiences and how to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
After 24 years of service, Master Sergeant Rodriguez-Urena retired in 2008 and moved to Summerville, South Carolina. He and his wife, Marlene, have enjoyed 29 years of marriage and have a 23-year-old daughter named Alyssa. He keeps himself physically and mentally busy by staying active and participating in numerous sports, and currently works as a Medical Technician in the Emergency Room of a nearby medical center. He also recently completed a program in Applied Computer Science to become a Computer Network Technician at the local college in Charleston, South Carolina.