At age 24, an American Hero passed away Monday, April 18, 2011. He was born September 25, 1986, in Roseburg, OR to parents Raeann Rutledge & Steven Berg. He was raised in the Roseburg area until 1992, and then we lived in the Central Coast, CA area until ’99, he loved the beach. After that we lived in CO until he moved back home and graduated from Camas Valley High School in 2005. He came back to CO where he joined the United States Air Force at age 18. Rory was a highly decorated USAF Staff Sergeant. He was first stationed in Biloxi, MS where he received honors for dedicated assistance in humanitarian efforts during hurricane Katrina, Prior to coming to VAFB; he was stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB serving as acknowledged Combat Weather Forecaster. He earned several very significant awards during his 6 years of dedicated service including; the Air Force Achievement Medal, Airman Below the Zone, Airman of the Quarter, Forecaster of the Month, and ACC Airman of the Year 2009; receiving accolades for assisting Air Force One, being a part of the crew that rescued 3 US Soldiers from Columbian terrorists, and preventing over 4.6 billion dollars of Cocaine entering the United States. He moved to VAFB Feb ’10. “As a critical member of our unit, Rory was called upon to provide time-critical and extremely complex solar environment forecasts to tactical units around the world and to some of our nation’s most senior military leaders; and he did this very well. You should be proud of how Rory carried himself and how well he served his country.” J. Christopher Moss, Colonel, USAF Commander, 614th Air and Space Operations Center.
I did not take the oath, but my sons did
and they dreamed of doing so since they were kids.
I raised them to have characters of
Honor, courage, service, and integrity,
to love God, country, and family.
As a Mom, I had to let go and see
them become the men and soldiers
they were meant to be.
But it did not stop the sleepless nights
and the worried glances when the phone would ring,
but when it was one one of them, oh how my heart would sing!
Then one day I did get that call,
“I’m sorry Ma’am, but your oldest son has taken that fall,
he has given his life and answered
God’s and duty’s call”.
I shook my fist and asked God “Why”?
What else could I do, but want to die?
But I put on a brave face
and went to guide my soldier home to his final resting place..
I was told over and over of his honorable service,
of a job well done
but all I could remember was that little boy who was always having fun.
It’s taken me awhile – a lot of heartbreak, tears, and grief
but I’ve found a place where I can finally breath.
It is at home in my heart where he still resides
It’s where he’s always been and still lives beside.
His brother is now in danger’s way
And all I can do is hope and pray
that it is not with his heart, mind, or life
he’ll have to pay.
He serves with honor, courage, and bravery,
with his angel brother there to guide the way.
It is always this mother’s greatest fear
to lose another son, to not have him near.
I did not take the oath; “So help me God”
but my sons did and so for as long as I shall live
I will do my best to never, ever keep that oath hid.
Written by Rory’s mother 2015