OGDEN -- Cpl. Raphael Arruda, 21, of South Ogden, was one of seven U.S. Army Reserve soldiers honored this week in a special fallen soldier memorial ceremony at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Arruda was killed in action in the Bar Kunar District, Afghanistan, on July 16 when the vehicle he rode in as truck commander hit an improvised explosive device.
The fallen soldier memorial ceremony honored members of the Army Reserve killed in combat during 2011.
"We give thanks that these American warriors strengthened our formations and graced our ranks," said Maj. Gen. Keith L. Thurgood, U.S. Army Reserve Command chief of staff.
"They made a difference in the lives of the people that they worked for and worked with. In life, their gift was their service to others and citizens of this great country. In death, their gift was their life, which they sacrificed as warriors simply doing their duty."
Arruda was born in Joao Pessoa, Brazil, and came to the United States in 2001 with his family, eventually settling in Utah.
He joined the Army Reserve shortly after graduating from Bonneville High School in 2008.
Arruda was buried July 30 in Ogden in a ceremony attended by hundreds, including Utah Gov. Gary Herbert.
The fact that he joined the military even though he was not, at that time, a citizen "speaks volumes about his character," said Army Gen. Mike Devine, commanding general of the 301st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade near Seattle.
"Less than 1 percent of all Americans will ever put on a uniform," Devine said at Arruda's memorial service. "And he was a combat engineer. That's one of the most dangerous jobs in the military."
Arruda's older brother, cousin, mother and father all spoke at the funeral. All of them noted how much Arruda enjoyed his time in service and how proud he was to be a soldier.
"He considered it an obligation to serve the United States because he was a foreign citizen," said cousin Paulo Arruda De Souza.
Arruda was granted posthumous citizenship.
In addition to Arruda, those honored at Fort Bragg were: Sgt. Alexander J. Bennett, of Tacoma, Wash.; Spc. Spencer C. Duncan, of Olathe, Kan.; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bryan J. Nichols, of Hays, Kan.; Spc. Daniel L. Elliott, of Youngsville, N.C.; Cpl. Justin D. Ross, of Green Bay, Wis., and Cpt. Joshua M. McClimans, of Akron, Ohio.