Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Army Sgt. Alejandro A. Dominguez

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Alejandro A. Dominguez, 24, of San Diego

Sgt. Dominguez was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas; died June 25, 2008 in Mosul, Iraq, of wounds sustained when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device on June 24. Also killed were Spc. Joel A. Taylor and Pfc. James M. Yohn.

San Diego Union Tribune -- Alejandro A. Dominguez loved the Army so much that he listed “my tank manual” as his favorite book on his MySpace page.

The Army came in second only to his love for his family. The 2002 Southwest High School graduate's home page featured a photo of his baby daughter and wrote that “without my wife or my daughter all I do would be for nothing.”

In a matter of days, the 24-year-old sergeant would be headed home to reunite with his wife and daughter in Texas, where he was stationed, and to see about buying a house during his mid-tour visit from Iraq.

Instead, the Army announced yesterday that Dominguez, along with Spc. Joel A. Taylor, 20, of Pinetown, N.C., and Pfc. James M. Yohn, 25, of Highspire, Pa., were killed. The Fort Hood soldiers died Wednesday when their vehicle was blown up by a roadside bomb.

Dominguez's funeral is scheduled for Thursday at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in Point Loma.

He is survived by his wife, Brenda Dominguez, also from San Diego; a year-old daughter, Alexia; and a 3-year-old son, Isaiah, from a previous relationship. Several other relatives live in the San Diego area, including his parents, Antonio and Elia, and a younger sister, Alejandra.

“The first time the military called, I hung up,” said Antonio Dominguez, who owns a silk-screening print business in Chula Vista.

“I thought it was the Marine Corps trying to get information about something,” he said of the call Wednesday. “I told my wife, and she said that as long as it wasn't the Army, we were all right. But then five minutes later, the Army arrived at my shop.”

Antonio Dominguez said Army officials told him his son was leading a mission in Mosul when his truck ran over an explosive device.

Fred Lobello, Alejandro's uncle and a World War II veteran who fought in Italy, recalled a fearless boy who loved racing through the desert on anything with wheels and an engine.

“He loved motorcycles. He loved to ride quads. He loved cars. He would liked to have my 1965 Mustang,” recalled Lobello, who lives in San Diego. “He and his father would go riding in Ensenada.”

But in recent years, Dominguez stopped racing through the desert, saying it was too dangerous and that he couldn't risk getting hurt.

Dominguez, who was on his second combat tour in Iraq, never talked about about joining the military before telling his family in the summer of 2002 that he had already signed up.

“I was surprised. I asked him why. We were at war and he was joining the military,” his father said. He just said, 'I just feel that I want to do this.' ”

The choice of the military as a career wasn't entirely surprising in hindsight.

“He was the type of guy who was always taking care of someone. He was always protecting someone,” Antonio Dominguez said.

“The military was second only to his family. He was a happy man,” said Alejandra, 19, a nurse at Sharp Coronado Hospital.

Father and son last talked five days ago.

“He said he had just worked for 22 hours and that he was getting a few hours' sleep before going on another mission. He said, 'I love you and I'll call you soon.' ”

Army Sgt. Alejandro A. Dominguez was killed in action on 6/25/08.

Alejandro Dominguez

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