ELKO — Lance Cpl. Raul S. Bravo was killed in combat March 2, 2007. Six years later, his name is anything but forgotten.
The Elko POW/MIA chapter hosted its annual Lance Cpl. Raul S. Bravo Memorial Scholarship fundraiser Saturday in the Elko City Park.
Bravo, nicknamed “Chato,” was killed in Al Qaim, Iraq, during the “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” A plaque commemorating his memory stands in front of a tree in the park.
Residents and veterans gathered around the park as Bravo’s family members spoke of his brave and gentle spirit.
Bravo’s mother, Joy Marsico, described how her son lived every day according to the biblical verse of John 15:13, which states, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
“My son wore a dog tag around his neck with this Bible verse because he lived his life by John 15:13 — a dog tag that I now wear,” Marsico said.
In addition to honoring Bravo’s memory, the event also raised money for the scholarship fund created in his name.
“Education was very important to my son,” Marsico said. “Sadly, his life was extinguished before he could fulfill his college dream.”
The money raised will go to help some Elko High School seniors pay for college tuition.
Twenty-four high school seniors have already benefited from the fund, Marsico said.
Uzziel Mendoza, Bravo’s cousin, described how “Chato” was more like a brother.
“He was one of the greatest brothers in the world,” Mendoza said. “He was the only brother I ever had. I just want you to remember him, about the little troublemaker that he was and how he grew out of it and became a fine gentleman.
“I know he’s looking down on us now and he has a smile on his face.”