Roy Russell Buckley, Iraq War CasualtyPorter County Data on Iraq War Casualties . . . .

Roy Russell Buckley
Specialist, 685th Transportation Company Reserve Unit
Date of Birth: May 17, 1978
Date of Death: April 22, 2003
Cause of Death: Accident, fell from vehicle
Hometown: Portage

Newspaper Notices:

Army Spc. Roy Russell Buckley

After an officer complimented him on the shine on his boots, Spc. Roy Russell Buckley of Portage, Ind., turned it into a profit-making venture — polishing boots for half his company before inspection.

“He made a lot of money shining those boots,” his mother, Janie Espinoza, told the Gary Post-Tribune.

Buckley, 24, an Army Reservist, died April 22 in a vehicle accident in Baghdad, the Pentagon said. He was traveling in a convoy and climbed out of the passenger compartment of a truck to get into the trailer and fell. After he did not return, he was discovered lying on the side of the road with serious injuries and was pronounced dead.

“He was the life of the family,” said Espinoza, an ordained minister. “I’m just going to have to have the Lord with me to help me through this.”

Buckley last spoke to his mother on Easter, saying he hoped to be home in time for Mother’s Day.

A graduate of Merrillville High School, Buckley joined the reserves three years ago, while also working at Midwest Steel. He had hoped to become a police officer.

He has a 6-year-old daughter who lives with her mother. “His main passion and love was his little girl. Any time ‘Bucky’ was feeling down, he thought about his little girl,” said Charles Calvin, one of two older brothers. Buckley also had a younger sister.
Source: USA Today; Associated Press

Family, Friends Prepare for Funeral of Indiana Soldier

MERRILLVILLE, Ind.— Family and friends of a soldier killed in a truck accident in Iraq have been preparing to say their final goodbyes.

The funeral for Army Spc. Roy Buckley, 24, of Hobart was scheduled for Saturday.

Buckley was aboard a truck traveling in a convoy when he left the passenger compartment and climbed into the trailer. A preliminary report showed Buckley was tossing food to Iraq children from the back of the truck, said Maj. Willie Harris, an Army spokesman.

“Roy was doing the work of God. He made it into heaven doing what Jesus did, feeding the multitudes,” said Charles Calvin, Buckley’s brother.

Army officials presented the Bronze Star to Buckley’s family on Thursday in recognition of his service in Iraq.

Buckley was a specialist with the 685th Transportation Co. reserve unit, based in Hobart, and drove fuel trucks for the unit. He joined the Army Reserves three years ago.

Joe Richard, an uncle, said his nephew joined the military to help people and died completing that goal.

“That personifies his personality, thinking of others before himself,” Richard said. “It’s pretty rare these days to find a young man with that heart. I look up to him today.”

The funeral is scheduled for noon Saturday at Pruzen Brothers Funeral Services in Merrillville. Buckley will be buried at Evergreen Memorial Park in Hobart.
Source: Associated Press

Specialist Roy Russell Buckley, 24

Hobart, Ind. -- Roy Russell Buckley died Wednesday, April 23, in a non-combat vehicle accident in Baghdad.

A 1996 graduate of Merrillville High School in northwest Indiana, Buckley joined the Army Reserve three years ago in Hobart, Ind., and was deployed to Fort Campbell, Ky., in late January.

He had been employed for a short time as a millworker at Midwest Steel when he was deployed.

His fiancée, Jenina Bellina, 24, of Chicago was a reservist with the Hobart unit. She returned home from Iraq after Buckley's death.

His uncle, Joe Richard of New Chicago, Ind., said the family believed the two planned to marry.

"He hadn't announced it, but we kind of expected it."

Buckley, known as Bucky to family and friends, had a special place in his heart for Alicia, his 6-year-old daughter, who lives with her mother in the Hobart area.

"He was so thrilled to get a new picture of her in the package we sent," Richard said. "He showed it to everybody in his unit, saying, 'This is my daughter.'"

Buckley was a sports enthusiast growing up and became involved with karate.

"He was more patriotic than anyone," Richard said. "He was American through and through." His bedroom was decorated with American political and military memorabilia.

Richard said an officer told him his nephew "was an excellent soldier."

"He would get his job done, then go help someone else with their job," he said. "That made me very proud."

Buckley was the third resident of a small area in northwest Indiana to be killed in the war, news services said.

In addition to his daughter, Buckley is survived by his mother, Janie Espinoza, and his stepfather, Phillip Espinoza, both of Hobart; two brothers, Victor Calvin of Hobart and Charles Calvin of Portage, Ind.; and a sister, Catrena Calvin of Hobart.
Source: The Gazette, Colorado Spring, El Paso County, Colorado; May 2, 2003

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Information abstracted and transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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