Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Army Spc. Miguel A. Baez

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Miguel A. Baez, 32, of Bonaire, Ga.

Spc. Baez was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died Feb. 5, 2008 in Balad, Iraq, of wounds sustained in Muqdadiyah when he encountered an improvised explosive device during combat operations. Also killed were Sgt. John C. Osmolski and Sgt. Timothy R. Van Orman.

The Telegraph - Cpl. Miguel A. Baez III, 32, died Tuesday from wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device. He was conducting combat operations near the city of Al Muqdadiyah in Diyala Province northeast of Baghdad.

Baez is survived by his wife, Elena Deer-Baez, and four children at Fort Bragg, N.C., and his parents, Miguel and Ramona Baez of Byron.

The corporal was an assistant machine gunner with 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. He deployed to Iraq in December of 2006 after joining the Army in May of 2005.

Baez's company first sergeant, Kevin Spooner, described Baez as the "best kind of soldier."

"He was a clown, a loving father and a wonderful husband," Spooner is quoted in an 82nd Airborne Division news release. "He always volunteered and never hesitated to help out a brother. He'll be greatly missed."

The Baez family in Byron could not be reached for comment late today.

Baez's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with one oak leaf cluster and the Purple Heart. He completed infantry training and the basic airborne course at Fort Benning in October 2005 before joining the 82nd Airborne. He earned the combat infantryman's badge, expert infantryman's badge and the parachutist's badge.

Army Spc. Miguel A. Baez was killed in action on 2/5/08.

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