Hurd on the Hill: Honoring our Heroes

August 23, 2019
Hurd on the Hill: Local Columns
Hurd on the Hill: Honoring our Heroes

Almost every American has a family member or knows someone who has served in our Armed Forces. However, fewer of us know someone who gave their life to protect the very freedoms we enjoy today.

Across the nation you can find federal and state public offices named after those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. The first time that Congress honored an individual by naming a post office after them was in 1967, and countless more post offices and federal buildings have since been named after significant members of the community.

I’m proud to be able to continue that tradition by working to rename the Castroville Post Office the “Lance Corporal Rhonald Dain Rairdan Post Office.” Rhonald Dain was born on April 22, 1984 in Eglin AFB, FL to David and Kimberly Wilmot Rairdan of San Antonio. He graduated from Medina Valley High School in 2003, where he was a member of the Medina Valley High School Jr. Air Force ROTC Blackhawks Drill Team. After joining the United States Marine Corps in 2005, he was stationed at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, as part of the 1st Battalion 3d Marine Regiment. Twenty-year-old Dain, as he was called by his friends and family, was very personable and enjoyed life. He remarked that as a Marine, he was doing what he wanted to do his whole life and enjoyed it.

Four months after joining the Marine Corps, Dain was deployed to the Middle East to join the Marine-led offensive to take control of Fallujah. Dain’s unit was tasked with hunting for weapons stockpiles and policing the damaged city as residents tried to regain a sense of normalcy. Tragically, during his last mission before leaving Iraq, Dain and 30 other service members were killed when their helicopter crashed in western Iraq.

Dain was raised in an Air Force family and lived many different places, but he loved Castroville and considered it his adopted hometown. It was here in Castroville and through the Air Force JROTC program that he realized he wanted to be one of the few, and the proud. Just as Castroville made him feel right at home, the Lance Corporal Rhonald Dain Rairdan Post Office will allow folks in Castroville to remember him and honor his memory and life of service for future generations.

Semper Fi” (Always Faithful), is the unofficial slogan of the Marine Corps. It is a reminder that Marines are always faithful, to their unit, the Corps and above all the United States of America. Lance Corporal Rairdan is the embodiment of that sentiment and it is in that spirit that we honor him. As we celebrate his memory and the memory of all of those who have sacrificed for our country, let us strive to give back to the community and preserve the memory of those who fight to preserve our freedom.