Sunday, November 18, 2007

Air Force Staff Sgt. Alejandro Ayala

Remember Our Heroes

Air Force Staff Sgt. Alejandro Ayala, 26, of Riverside, Calif.

SSgt. Ayala was assigned to the 90th Logistics Readiness Squadron, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo.; died Nov. 18, 2007 of injuries sustained as a result of a vehicle accident in Kuwait.

Press-Enterprise -- RIVERSIDE - In August, brothers Alejandro Ayala, a staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force stationed in Kuwait, and his brother Cesar Ayala, a U.S. Marine corporal returning home from his second deployment in Iraq, spent a day together in Kuwait.

As they took leave of each other, Cesar Ayala said, "We're not saying goodbye, just 'see you later' because we'll see each other back in the States."

As it turned out, it was the final goodbye for the brothers.

On Sunday, Alejandro Ayala, 26, of Riverside, died from injuries he received in a vehicle accident in Kuwait while serving with forces fighting the Iraq war, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

The accident is under investigation.

On Monday, Alejandro Ayala's parents, Faustino and Ilda, brother Cesar, sister Angelica and twin sister Liset gathered at the family's home in the Mockingbird Canyon area of Riverside to await word of when their son and brother will come home for the last time.

"He'll be buried in Riverside National Cemetery," Cesar Ayala said.

His widow, Megan, an Air Force veteran, and his children, Alexandra, 4, and Matthew,2, are in Wyoming, where Ayala was assigned to the 90th Logistics Readiness Squadron at F.E. Warren Air Force Base.

Cesar Ayala said his brother's fascination with the military began at Arlington High School, where he served with the ROTC. He graduated in 1999 and immediately joined the Air Force.

"He loved the Air Force and talked of making it his career," Cesar Ayala said.

Alejandro Ayala had basic training at Lackland Air Force Base and then was assigned to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina, where he met his future wife.

The two were married in 2003 in Moreno Valley at the Riverside County clerk's office.

Last Christmas, Faustino and Ilda Ayala, Liset, Cesar and Angelica traveled to Cheyenne to celebrate the holiday with Alejandro and his family.

Cesar Ayala called his brother an inspiration.

"He's the reason I joined the military," he said.

Alejandro Ayala also is survived by an older brother, Francisco, 29.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Alejandro Ayala died in a vehicle accident in Kuwait on 11/18/07.

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