Veteran Obituary: Anthony "Little Wolf" Rosas

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by LA1 News

Anthony (Tony) "Little Wolf" Rosas, esteemed Native American Green Beret veteran of the Vietnam War, passed away on the morning of Friday, July 11, 2014, at his home in Highland Park. He is survived by his wife, three daughters, five siblings, and six grandchildren.

Rosas was born in Deming, New Mexico, on June 21, 1944. His father, Antonio, served with the Navy Seabees during World War II and his mother, Theodora, was a housewife who lovingly reared Tony and his five brothers and sisters at home. The Rosas family are members of the Mescalero Apache Tribe. Their humble beginnings included a home made of adobe which, according to Rosas, had dirt floors. The family moved to California in 1952.

The Rosas' settled in Lincoln Heights where Tony and his siblings each attended local public schools. Tony celebrated his junior year at Lincoln High School in 1962 by being named as "Co-Player of the Year," alongside Tony Kochinas, by the Helms Athletic Foundation's All-City Los Angeles Board of Football. In 1963, Rosas helped lead the Tigers to a 4-1 record. The team advanced to the first round of the All-City playoffs, where they were defeated by Gardena High School 39-12.

Upon graduation, Rosas volunteered for the Army in 1964 and was deployed to Vietnam after completing his initial training. He served in Vietnam under the 1st Signal Corps before volunteering for infantry duty and reassignment under Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MAC-V). Rosas then applied to Special Forces Assessment and Selection, and after graduating that served with the 5th Special Forces Group. Rosas is a recipient of the Silver Star Medal for bravery in combat, and was awarded the Purple Heart Medal for serious wounds he received while fighting in Vietnam. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam, in addition to numerous other assignments in the United States and Europe.

On May 21, 1972, Rosas agreed to a blind date with a girl named Rose, a friend of his brother's girlfriend. The four of them went to Tommy's hamburger stand on Rampart Street. After the meal, Tony and his brother were able to quickly sneak away from their dates for just a moment in order to eat an additional double cheeseburger, as Tony was afraid to show his date what a wholesome appetite he had. Tony and his blind date, Rose, married exactly five months later and settled in Highland Park. He ended his Army service the next year in the rank of staff sergeant, and together he and Rose bought a home and raised their children.

Tony Rosas is perhaps best known in the local area for his unending dedication to the pillars of citizenship and service to the community. He is a proud member of Highland Park American Legion Post #206, where he devotionally participated in each Post meeting, Memorial Day ceremony, Christmas toy giveaway, Veterans Day event and community parade, dressed in his full regalia. He is known by his fellow veterans as a no-nonsense speaker of his mind, whether you liked it or not, who always paid his own way.

In December 2012, Rosas was hospitalized for complications related to injuries he sustained during his service. Faced with being absent from his first Post meeting in years, he submitted a letter of thanks in lieu of his attendance:

"I appreciated the Legion for the get well card and what they did. I appreciated all the Legion members that signed the card. Rudy came to check on me and see how I was doing. He was very caring and considerate. I want to wish the serving service men and women of America here and overseas to have a safe Christmas and New Year 2013. Also, thank you for defending our country abroad. To the Post Commander, be in the best of health and enjoy the holiday with your family. Sincerely, Anthony Rosas."

Anthony (Tony) "Little Wolf" Rosas, dead at 70.

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