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I-10/I-25 interchange renamed for fallen Las Cruces soldier


LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KVIA) -- On Saturday, a commemorative ceremony took place to officially rename a major interchange in Las Cruces in honor of a fallen local hero, Antonio Rodriguez. The I-25 and I-10 interchange, from mile marker 143 to mile marker 145, is now known as the Sergeant First Class Antonio Rey "Rod" Rodriguez Memorial Interchange.

Sgt. 1st Class Antonio Rey "Rod" Rodriguez, a Las Cruces native, served in the U.S. Army and was tragically killed in action in Afghanistan in February 2020. Over his illustrious military career, he received numerous honors, including the Bronze Star, Joint Service Commendation, and the Expert and Combat Infantry Badge. Posthumously, he was awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Badge, another Bronze Star, and the Meritorious Service Medal.

The initiative to rename the interchange was led by Rodriguez's mother, Guadalupe Rodriguez Jaramillo, who also presides over a foundation in her son's name. Jaramillo collaborated with New Mexico Lt. Gov. Howie Morales and members of the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) to formalize her request.

Jaramillo expressed that the interchange dedication will serve as a poignant reminder to all travelers that heroes are born, raised, and memorialized in New Mexico.

SFC Rodriguez started his military career in 2009 at Fort Benning, GA. He then successfully completed the Regimental Assessment and Selection Program (RASP) to join the elite 75th Ranger Regiment, a part of the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC).

After completing RASP, Rodriguez was assigned to Delta Company, 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, at Fort Benning. He had multiple deployments as an assaulter on the strike force, earning his Ranger Tab and leading a Fire Team at Delta Company.

SFC Rodriguez transitioned to the Regimental Military Intelligence Battalion in 2017 and was trained as a Cryptologic Linguist. He was later assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group’s Military Intelligence Detachment. On February 8th, 2020, he was killed in combat operations in the Sherzad District of Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan.

In total, SFC Rodriguez had ten deployments, eight with the 75th Ranger Regiment, and two with the 7th Special Forces Group.

The newly unveiled SFC Antonio Rey "Rod" Rodriguez Memorial Interchange pays homage to a true American hero, serving as a testament to Rodriguez's bravery, service, and the ultimate sacrifice he made for his country.

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