Gov. Phil Murphy ordered all U.S. and New Jersey flags to be flown at half-staff at all state buildings and facilities on Monday, Nov. 23, in honor of U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Richard “Rico” Asey Samaroo, who passed away while on active duty in South Korea.
Samaroo was a resident of North Brunswick.
“Senior Airman Samaroo was taken from us far too soon, at the young age of 21,” Murphy said. “Richard served his community, his state, and his country with honor and distinction. Tammy and I would like to express our deepest condolences to Senior Airman Samaroo’s family, friends and colleagues during this time.”
Samaroo was an electrical power production technician in the 51st Civil Engineer Squadron. He had been serving at Osan since May.
“Our Mustang family mourns the loss of Richard,” Colonel John Gonzales, commander of the 51st Fighter Wing, said in the release. “Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends.”
Samaroo was born in Guyana and came to the United States in 2003, according to his obituary. He resided in New Brunswick, Parsippany, Flemington and Northampton, Pennsylvania, before moving back to North Brunswick where he has lived since.
He attended Livingston Park Elementary, Linwood Middle School and North Brunswick Township High School where he graduated Class of 2017 with honors.
He soon after enlisted in the United States Air Force. He completed his basic training at Lackland Airforce Base in Texas, then completed his military schooling at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas. He served in Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany for two years and Osan Air Force Base in South Korea since May, according to the statement.
Samaroo was the recipient of the National Defense Service Medal, The Global War on Terror Medal, the M-16 Expert Qualifying Medal and the Air Force Training Ribbon.
He was predeceased by his grandfather Albert Samaroo. He is survived by his parents Richard and Bibi Samaroo and his sister Zhane Samaroo.
Viewing services were held at Gleason Funeral Home in Somerset on Nov. 19.
On Nov. 20, a funeral procession to the Brig. General BG William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Wrightstown passed through North Brunswick. Residents showed their respects by joining as the procession passed Cozzens Lane in the area of Sabella Park. Representatives of the North Brunswick Police Department, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Affairs, the North Brunswick Fire Department and the North Brunswick First Aid and Rescue Squad were present for the solemn moment.