Thursday, June 12, 2008

Army Sgt. John D. Aragon

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. John D. Aragon, 22, of Antioch, Calif.

Sgt. Aragon was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; died June 12, 2008 in Kadamiyah, Iraq, of wounds sustained when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device.

Antioch soldier killed by roadside bomb in Iraq
The Associated Press

ANTIOCH, Calif. — When John Aragon told his mother during his senior year of high school that he wanted to join the Army, she urged him to wait at least a year before making the decision.

Aragon completed a year at a community college, but the delay did nothing to diminish his passion for the military, his mother said. He called his parents once he reached Fort Campbell, Ky., to tell them all about it.

“He said, ‘I love the Army and the Army loves me,”’ Denise Aragon said. “The two just clicked.”

Aragon served for just over two years before he was killed Thursday by a roadside bomb in Iraq, the Department of Defense announced Friday. Officials said the 22-year-old died of wounds suffered when his Humvee struck the bomb in Kadamiyah, just northwest of Baghdad.

Aragon’s father, John Aragon Sr., said his son wanted to be near the action: “He would say, ‘A true soldier is a fighting foot soldier.”’

But, the elder Aragon said, his son never harbored any romantic notions of war.

“He’d tell us it was pure hell,” he said. “Those were his words: ‘pure hell.”’

Both parents said they are proud of what he accomplished, including the rank of sergeant in two years with the 101st Airborne Division.

The Antioch High School graduate, a die-hard Oakland Raiders fan with the team’s name tattooed above his heart, always kept close ties to home, calling his parents once a week and looking forward to care packages they would send filled with his favorite snacks. Denise Aragon said she had planned to send one more round of snacks before he was due home for a break next month.

“We never got to send them,” Denise Aragon said.

Army Sgt. John D. Aragon was killed in action on 6/12/08.

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