US-based Guyanese dies while on military duty in South Korea

-all flags in New Jersey to be lowered in his honour


[] – Gov. Phil Murphy ordered all flags in New Jersey to be lowered on Monday in honor of a 21-year-old U.S. airman from North Brunswick who was found dead in his dormitory while on active duty.

Richard “Rico” Asey Samaroo served in the U.S. Air Force in the 51st Civil Engineer Squadron as an electrical power production technician. He was found dead on Nov. 2 while stationed at the Osan Air Base in South Korea, military officials said in a release.

The cause of his death was still under investigation, said military officials on Thursday. He was born in Guyana and came to the United States in 2003, according to his obituary.

“I want you to look at that guy,” Murphy said Friday during a coronavirus press conference. “I want you to also hear what I said to his family, (who) immigrated to this country from Guyana. That is the United States of America that I know. A guy who immigrated here as a kid with his family served our nation and died for our nation, for our freedoms that we must never take for granted.”

A funeral procession took place Friday morning through his hometown to the Brig. General BG William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Wrightstown.

Samaroo previously resided in New Brunswick, Parsippany, Flemington throughout his life. He attended Livingston Park Elementary, Linwood Middle School and North Brunswick High School where he graduated in 2017 with honors, his obituary said.

He enlisted in the Air Force shortly after graduating high school. Samaroo was stationed in Germany for two years and was serving in South Korea since May.

“Our Mustang family mourns the loss of Richard,” said Col. John Gonzales, a 51st Fighter Wing commander. “Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends.”

The 21-year-old received the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terror Medal, the M-16 Expert Qualifying Medal and the Air Force training ribbon.
He is survived by his parents, a sister and grandparents.
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