The Naugatuck community this weekend will honor a borough native and U.S. Marine who was injured in a roadside bomb explosion four months ago in Afghanistan.
Lance Cpl. Roger Rua, 22, suffered serious injuries to his neck, back and right leg when an improvised explosive device, or IED, exploded near him on March 29. He is currently recovering at a rehabilitation facility in Boston, Mass., and has a long road to recovery, during which he will attempt to walk again and regain everyday motor skills.
“He’s never complained to me or anyone I know of,” said Rua’s brother, Cesar Rua, of Naugatuck. “He’s pretty upbeat; he’s got a positive outlook.”
Roger Rua is expected to be at this Sunday's fundraiser being held in his honor. It will begin at 1 p.m. at the Waterbury Portuguese Club, 1966 Baldwin St., Waterbury. Tickets are $25 and all proceeds will go toward Rua’s recovery efforts. His brother said the money will be put toward “any future modifications he needs to get his life back in order, such as a vehicle if he’s allowed to drive again.”
Currently, Roger Rua is undergoing extensive physical therapy and occupational therapy in hopes of regaining the strength and motor skills necessary to transition into civilian life outside of a rehab facility. Currently, he's working hard on trying to walk again.
He finds strength from his tight-knit family and friends, including people all over the country who have taken to a Facebook site dedicated to Rua to grant well wishes to the Marine.
“Thank you Roger,” reads on post. “God bless you for your devotion to us and this country.”
Another reads, “Thank you so much for all you have done for our country. You are an inspiration to the young people all over the world.”
And yet another sums up the collective thoughts of his friends and family here in Naugatuck.
“Warrior, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with you as you progress through this. Keep the faith, keep your head high and know that you have hundreds of people praying and pulling for your continued progress.”
Tickets for Sunday’s event, which includes food, a raffle and a cash bar, can be purchased at the door. For more information or to donate, contact Cesar Rua at (203) 232-4524 or Antonio Carpinteiro at (203) 217-8772.