Local Soldier Killed In War Leaves Behind Scholarship

War In The Gulf

March 01, 1991|By Angela Gambill | Angela Gambill,Staff writer

Money saved by a Glen Burnie soldier killed in the Gulf War will help other students take the college classes he would have begun in September.

The parents of Sgt. Ronald M. Randazzo are setting up a scholarship fund for graduates of their son's school, Glen Burnie High, who -- as their son hoped to do -- attend college to study law or lawenforcement.

Randazzo, who was killed Feb. 20 in a skirmish with Iraqi forces near the Saudi-Iraqiborder, wanted to become an FBI agent.

He planned to leave the Army to attend college and was due for a discharge last fall, but his tour of duty was extended because of the war, says Robert Dunker, a family friend coordinating the scholarship fund.

The 24-year-old had asked the Army to save $100 from each pay check for his college money, and the money he saved, which the government matched, totals nearly $25,000, Dunker says.

Randazzo's parents, Paul and Leona Randazzo, are using that money to start the scholarship fund, encouraging other young men and women to continue their education, Dunker says.

Randazzo had joined the National Guard before graduating from Glen Burnie High School in 1985. Two years later, he signed up for active duty.

An infantryman, he was assigned to the 5th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division, based in Fort Hood, Texas.

He was serving as a supervisor on a Vulcan Air Defense System, a tank-like anti-aircraft weapon, when he was killed.

"The family can't even talk about it right now; they just fall apart," says Dunker, whose son, a Marine serving in the gulf, went to high school with Randazzo.

The funeral service will be held 9 a.m. tomorrow at the Church of the Crucifixion off Furnace Branch Road. Viewing hours will continue from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. today atthe Singleton Funeral Home in Glen Burnie.

The family requests contributions to the scholarship fund in lieu of flowers.

Checks should be made out to the Sgt. Ronald M. Randazzo Scholarship Fund and may be sent to the Bank of Glen Burnie, 101 Crain Highway, S.E., Glen Burnie, Md. 21061.

"This is a way for tragedy to maybe help somebody who otherwise wouldn't have a chance to go to college," Dunker says.

Glen Burnie High School has agreed to distribute the money as part of their scholarship program.

"We hope people give to this cause," Dunker says. "If we got $50,000 at 6 percent (interest), we could award three scholarships a year."

If enough money is raised, thefamily would like to put several students through four years of college, Dunker adds.

"They want to do as much as they can," he says. "If there's enough money, we could establish a trust fund so it wouldcontinue on."

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