Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Army Specialist Astor A. Sunsin Pineda

Remember Our Heroes

Army Specialist Astor A. Sunsin-Pineda, 20, of Long Beach, Calif.

Spc. Sunsin-Pineda was assigned to the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.; died May 2, 2007 in Baghdad of wounds suffered when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device. Also killed was 1st Lt. Ryan P. Jones.

Long Beach soldier killed by roadside bomb in Iraq

The Associated Press

LONG BEACH, Calif. — The last memory Lesby De Paz had of her son was a Mother’s Day card he sent while serving in Iraq.

“I want to tell you how much I appreciate everything you’ve given me,” Army Spc. Astor Sunsin-Pineda wrote in Spanish. “I send you this card — simple, but with lots of love. I would like to be with you on this special day. God bless you.”

Sunsin-Pineda, 20, of Long Beach, was killed earlier this month by a roadside bomb in Baghdad. A fellow soldier, Army 1st Lt. Ryan P. Jones, 23, Westminster, Mass., also died.

The two were assigned to the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion based out of Fort Riley, Kansas. They were combat engineers, who were typically responsible for clearing routes of roadside bombs or other explosive devices.

De Paz said Sunsin-Pineda was a good son.

“He was a happy guy, and that’s how I want to remember him,” she said. “He always tried to make people laugh, always tried to help them. I am very proud.”

Born in Honduras, Sunsin-Pineda immigrated to the United States at age 8.

“He was very proud of the United States,” his stepfather Julio De Paz said. “His first day here he said he wanted to be in the Army.”

Sunsin-Pineda was inspired by an uncle who served in the Honduran military. After graduating from high school in 2005, Sunsin-Pineda enlisted.

A devout Christian, Sunsin-Pineda called his family twice a day and constantly carried around a Bible.

“He tried to make a difference,” Julio De Paz said. “His body is gone, but his spirit is alive.”

Army Specialist Astor A. Sunsin-Pineda was killed in action on 5/2/07.

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