A Glen Burnie soldier's dream of going to college didn't perish withhim in the gulf war.
When Sgt. Ronald M. Randazzo became the second Maryland soldier killed in Operation Desert Storm, his parents setup a scholarship to give other students a chance to take the classeshe wanted to start last fall.
His family and friends already have raised $5,000 to fatten the savings account he set up for college, said Robert Dunker, a family friend coordinating the scholarship fund. Glen Burnie's civic association was expected to approve donating another $1,000 to the scholarshipyesterday night.
Randazzo, who died Feb. 20 in a skirmish with Iraqi forces near the Saudi-Iraq border, planned to become an FBI agent. He had signed up for law-enforcement classes and intended to leave the Army last fall, but his tour of duty was extended with the Gulf War.
The 24-year-old infantryman had asked the Army to set aside $100 from each paycheck for college. With the matching government money, he had saved nearly $25,000, Dunker said.
Randazzo's parents, Paul and Leona Randazzo, used the money to start a scholarship in his name for other Glen Burnie High School graduates. They hope to encourageother young men and women to continue their education in law or lawenforcement, Dunker said. Glen Burnie High agreed to distribute the money through its scholarship program.
The Randazzo family collected $5,000 in the last two months and is organizing more fund-raisers to collect a total of $50,000. If enough money is raised, the family would like to put several students through four years of college.
Dunker, a retired banker whose son is a close friend of Randazzo's brother-in-law, petitioned the Glen Burnie Improvement Association for$1,000 last month. Civic leaders said they expected the association to approve the request at its meeting last night.
The money will be used to organize a fund-raising dance, scheduled for June 2 at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie. Sen. Michael J. Wagner, D-Ferndale, offered the use of his banquet hall for free. A band also has agreed to play for free at the fund-raiser, Dunker said.
Randazzo's parents last week turned over the first $5,000 for a criminal justice scholarship at Anne Arundel Community College. But they and other friends have discovered that fund-raising can be tough.
"We're hoping to make the grade, but it's not easy getting this scholarship together," Dunker said.