Blue C Rowe
May 26, 2009
Killed in Panjshir Province, Afghanistan, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.
|Whittier soldier killed serving in Afghanistan after exactly 15 years in the Army
By Bethania Palma Markus Staff Writer
Posted: 06/01/2009 05:49:48 PM PDT
WHITTIER - To his fellow soldiers, he was known as First Sgt. Blue C. Rowe. But to his nieces and nephews, he was known affectionately as "Uncle Blue."
Rowe, a noncommissioned officer for the U.S. Army, was serving his first tour of duty in Afghanistan. He was on his way home to Whittier when he was killed May 26 by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Panjshir, Afghanistan, on his 15th anniversary in the military, his family said. He was 33.
"He was a Southern gentleman," said his wife, Cindy Rowe, 37. "He was good to me, good to our son, good to the family."
The couple met 13 years ago while serving in Croatia, when Cindy was a medic for Rowe's unit, she said. They married after two years. Rowe then
Army Sgt. Blue Rowe, 33, of Whittier, was killed serving in Afghanistan on May 26, 2009.
moved from his native Arkansas to join Cindy and the rest of her family in Southern California.
"He was a big-hearted person," said sister-in-law Mindy Morales. "He was the funniest guy."
Morales said Rowe and his wife had just bought a home in Whittier. Rowe only had the chance to spend a few days there before he was killed, she said.
Rowe was a loving father to his 7-year-old son Andrew, his relatives said. He was also known as a doting, adventurous uncle to seven nieces and nephews.
When the family would go camping together, Rowe would take the kids on "missions," said sister-in-law Ruby Covarrubias, 33, of Chino.
"He'd draw up a map for them and pack up their snacks and water like they were really in the military," she said. "He was an awesome uncle and an awesome dad."
Rowe joined the Army in 1994, Army officials said. He served from 2002 to 2009 in the Army Reserve's 426th Civil Affairs Battalion based in Upland.
Rowe worked as a military policeman in Korea, Germany and the Balkans, officials said. He was deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom from September 2004 through July 2005.
He was mobilized again last July for duty in Afghanistan.
Cindy Rowe said she was working for the Los Angeles Police Department as an officer but took a job with the Veteran's Administration when the couple learned Blue would be sent back into the line to duty.
"I'm a veteran, my husband is a veteran," she said. "It feels good to be around your own."
Rowe was coming home early to surprise their son, Cindy Rowe said. The family then planned a vacation in Washington D.C. to celebrate the child's birthday this month.
"I miss him," she said. "Instead of burying him I wish we were going on that trip. I wish I could wake up and see it's not true."
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