Another Bay Area soldier has died serving in Afghanistan. Army Staff Sergeant Ricardo Seija, 31, was killed by an improvised explosive device Sunday.
His parents got the knock on the door in the middle of the night. They told FOX 13 that Seija loved the Army "300 percent" and planned to serve for the rest of his life.
"It was a passion that came from his blood that he wanted to join," Ignacia Seija said through a translator.
"Ricky" Seija graduated from Leto High School in 1999. His mother says he was on the wrestling team and she was his number-one fan. Seija finished high school early so that he could enlist, like family members before him.
Seija served tours in South Korea, Puerto Rico, and Germany, then deployed to Afghanistan in March. He risked his life every day on the front lines as a military police officer.
His parents said they, of course, thought about the danger posed by his deployment to Afghanistan, but they never thought this day would come.
Sgt. Seija grew up in Chicago and moved to Tampa as a teenager. He was supposed to come home next month. Now, his mother can't help but question why her youngest had to die this way. She says her heart is broken.
"She wants this war to be ended," said the translator. "[She doesn't] want to hear about no more kids dying."
Seija got married earlier this year. He and his new bride planned to surprise his mom and dad with the news when he came home. But instead, Seija leaves behind his new wife and little boy, Ricky. They were stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas.
"I miss him so much," his mother added.
Seija died in the same roadside bomb attack that killed Clarence Williams III, another Bay Area soldier from Brooksville.
Seija's family is working with the military to bring his body back to the Bay Area this week.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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