Family mourns loss of grandson after tragic naval accident

PLAINVIEW, TX (KCBD) - A Plainview family is in mourning following a tragic accident that killed their 21-year-old grandson.

Rolando Acosta, a Navy seaman and Plainview High School graduate had been stationed in Norfolk, Virginia completing training this past spring.

He was working on the U.S. S. Boise, a submarine, Saturday around 7 a.m. when crews said he fell overboard. They searched for two hours before they found his body.

Shock and disbelief are the only two emotions his grandparents, Janie and Jerry DeLuna, said they felt.

"I was told Saturday afternoon that my grandson had passed away. I still can't believe it," Janie said. "I know people tell me that God will be with me all the time, but still I don't know."

Acosta was more than a grandson to the DeLunas. They had raised him from age 11 and couldn't have been prouder of his decision to enlist in the United States Navy.

"He wanted to tour the world, he wanted to see the world. We encouraged him: if that's what you want, go for it," Jerry said.

His grandparents said his desire to enlist matched his character: Acosta had a servant's heart.

"He was just that kind of person that could help you out anyway he could. That's how he was and that's how we want to remember him," Janie said.

While Acosta was studying Business Administration at Wayland Baptist University, he took a mission trip to Kenya. That's when his grandmother said he discovered his passion to serve others.

"When he came back, he came so different. He saw the difference that the people there lived. Compared to what we have, they don't have nothing," Janie said.

The DeLunas said their grandson touched everyone he encountered but that his mission to serve others ended far too soon.

"He had so many things that he wanted to do. It's very hard and I think we're waiting on the hardest part," Janie said.

Acosta is still thousands of miles away from home. His family awaits the return of his body and said they're ready for him to come back to West Texas where he belongs.

He leaves behind three brothers, Erik Lee Acosta, Grodo Acosta and Omar Lee Acosta. Funeral services will be held next Monday at 2 p.m. at the Cornerstone Funeral Home in Plainview.

Copyright 2013 KCBD. All rights reserved.