Army Spc. Alan “A.J.” Roach Jr. joined the military to protect his country, said his mother, Lana Roach.
Roach, 20, a Crown Point native, was stationed at Ft. Campbell in Kentucky.
While assigned to Bravo company, Roach served as an automatic rifleman and team leader. Both positions were a result of his performance and knowledge, Lana Roach said.
His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Air Assault Badge and the Expert Infantryman Badge.
Lana Roach said her son was a natural born protector of women and those being bullied.
Roach played basketball and baseball at Crown Point High School. He also participated in youth sports such as Little League, Babe Ruth, soccer, Pups basketball, Junior Bulldog football and Taft Junior High School track.
He enjoyed paintball and dodge ball.
Lana Roach said her son’s love for his family was exceptional. He was always there when they needed him.
“Every tattoo pertained to family,” Lana Roach said. “One was in memory of his aunt who passed away a few years ago from cancer. Family was his backbone.”
Lana Roach said her son was generous and possessed a great sense of humor.
“His great and loyal friendships made his life cherishable,” she said.
“Our family would like to thank everyone who showed tremendous support for our son, grandson, brother, nephew, friend, soldier,” Lana Roach said. “We never really grasped the greatness of the respect and honor that is given to our soldiers. Seeing firsthand the emotion and honor the Indiana Patriot Guard gives of themselves is humbling.”
Lana Roach thanked Sgt. 1st Class Brownson, the 113th Engineer Battalion, the Funeral Honors Team, the Crown Point and Merrillville fire departments for raising the flag, Bryan and Vickie Kersey, Geisen Funeral Home and his military brothers for carrying him to his resting place.