Family mourns Schofield soldier
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A Schofield Barracks soldier who was killed in Iraq last week leaves behind a wife in Honolulu and a daughter who was only 3 weeks old when he deployed in August.
Staff Sgt. Richwell A. Doria, 25, died Nov. 7 after being struck by small-arms fire during an air assault mission near the city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq.
He was mortally wounded trying to help rescue soldiers a week after he pulled other soldiers from a blown-up Humvee — an act that led to Doria being recommended for a commendation, family said.
Kazue Miyano, formerly of Kaua'i, said an Army chaplain came to visit her daughter, Jasmine, on O'ahu the night of Nov. 7 to tell the daughter her husband had been killed in Iraq.
"They told her that Rich's team was on a rescue mission," Miyano said. "He jumped out of the helicopter to go and get more guys when he got attacked and shot. He was transported to the hospital but was dead on arrival. He was a great man, and we will all miss him very much."
She said that during the week before his death, Doria called relatives here to tell them about a close call.
"His team was out on mission when the Humvee in front of him blew up," Miyano said, recalling a telephone conversation with Doria.
She said her late son-in-law told her that he jumped out of the Humvee he was in to go and help his friends who were screaming for help.
"They were missing limbs but alive," Miyano said. "He started getting them out, one by one, from the mangled mess and even kept slapping one of them so that they would not slip into oblivion. He was so devastated with what he saw, he could not sleep. All he saw were his wounded friends and the parts they were missing."
Miyano, who lives in Las Vegas, said Doria told family members here that all of the wounded soldiers survived, thanks to him and the rest of his team members.
Doria called his wife on the day before his own death to say that he was to be awarded a medal.
"He said he told the team that he wasn't the only one that got the wounded out, but they insisted that if it wasn't for him, they wouldn't have known what to do," Miyano said.
Doria was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry, at Schofield Barracks in February 2001. His death was the eighth for the 25th Infantry Division since more than 7,000 Hawai'i soldiers deployed to northern Iraq starting in July.
Doria had served in Afghanistan on a 2004 deployment.
"(The deployment to Iraq) was going to be his last tour of duty, and then he was going to make Hawai'i his home," Miyano said.
His daughter, Jada, changed his priorities, and Doria was going to get out of the Army.
"He was a proud daddy. He had a few weeks off (before the deployment) and always took care of her," Miyano said. "I think that's what made him think about when he was getting deployed — he has a little one."
Doria was born in the Philippines but was raised in San Diego. His wife, Jasmine, grew up on Kaua'i but was going to beauty college on O'ahu, and that's where the couple met.
Doria was "very, very quiet, but had lots of integrity," his mother-in-law said. "He really cared about his family."
He loved going to the beach and was obsessive about keeping his Mercedes clean — a car he bought for its reliability, and with his wife and baby daughter in mind, Miyano said.
Family members are on O'ahu for a 10 a.m. memorial service today at Schofield Barracks. Where Doria will be buried still has to be determined. His mother lives in the Philippines.
Miyano said it's been a rough week for her 23-year-old daughter.
"She knew (the Army) was his life. He decided to do that, and she was OK with it," Miyano said. "She knew there was a threat of him possibly passing away, but you don't think of those things. You just hope that they come home."