SWANTON, Vt. — A Marine known in his hometown for his manners and smile has become the third Vermont resident to die in Afghanistan this year.
Lance Corporal Anthony Rosa, 20, of Swanton, was killed Thursday while supporting combat operations in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, the Department of Defense said. He was a 2008 graduate of Missisquoi Valley Union High School and was assigned to a battalion based at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Bill Rowell, a close friend of Rosa’s family, said he went by the name Chuckie, a nickname given to him by his grandfather.
“The kid grew up on my knee,’’ he told the Burlington Free Press.
Rowell said Rosa was an excellent golfer, an avid fisherman, and a good student. “He was a perfectly mannered gentleman, and strikingly so,’’ he said.
Philip Ste. Marie said Rosa worked at his convenience store in Swanton during high school. While other teenagers called their boss by his first name, Rosa always said, “Yes, sir.’’
“He was very polite, a very popular kid,’’ he said.
In high school, Rosa was voted the student with the best smile and laugh.
Members of the state’s congressional delegation offered their sympathies to Rosa’s family, including his father, mother and stepfather, and two sisters.
“In a small state like ours, we Vermonters are all hit hard by this news,’’ said US Senator Patrick Leahy.
Senator Bernie Sanders said, “Another Vermonter has paid the ultimate sacrifice in our country’s longest war.’’
Representative Peter Welch said by all accounts, Rosa loved life, Vermont and his country.
“His loss is a heartbreaking blow to the town of Swanton, to the state of Vermont and, most devastatingly, to his family,’’ he said.
Two other members of the armed forces from Vermont have died in Afghanistan this year, both Army National Guardsmen.
Specialist Ryan Grady of West Burke died July 2. Specialist Tristan Southworth of Walden died Aug. 22.
Another Vermont National Guardsman, Sergeant Sgt. Steven Deluzio of South Glastonbury, Conn., also was killed Aug. 22.