Sunday, July 13, 2008

Army Sgt. Israel Garcia

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Israel Garcia, 24, of Long Beach, Calif.

Sgt. Garcia was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 503d Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy; died of wounds sustained when his outpost was attacked by small-arms fire and rocket propelled grenades from enemy forces in Wanat, Afghanistan, on July 13, 2008. Also killed were 1st Lt. Jonathan P. Brostrom, Cpl. Jonathan R. Ayers, Cpl. Jason M. Bogar, Cpl. Jason D. Hovater, Cpl. Matthew B. Phillips, Cpl. Pruitt A. Rainey, Cpl. Gunnar W. Zwilling and Pfc. Sergio S. Abad.

Long Beach soldier killed in Afghanistan
The Associated Press

LONG BEACH, Calif. — A local soldier was among nine Army paratroopers killed in a weekend attack on a remote base in Afghanistan, relatives said.

Sgt. Israel “Ira” Garcia, 24, died when about 200 militants attacked the base near the Pakistan border on July 13.

Garcia was with the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne) of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vincenza, Italy. His unit had been stationed in Afghanistan since May 2007.

“He’s a true fallen hero,” said his sister-in-law, Hilda Rezolorio. “He fought for this country.”

Garcia, who loved horses and soccer, enlisted shortly after graduating from high school in 2002, his family said.

He was sent to Italy in June 2006, three months after marrying his high school sweetheart, Lesly Garcia. She had been staying with family members in Long Beach but was preparing to return to Italy because her husband was expected to return there in two weeks.

“She was scheduled to leave, going back to Italy on Monday night, July 14. They gave us the news of his death Monday morning,” Rezolorio said. “She wanted to go home and get the house ready for him.”

“There are no words to describe him. He was loved by everybody,” Rezolorio said. “We will miss his smile, his great sense of humor. He will be truly missed.”

In addition to his wife, Garcia is survived by his parents, Victor and Maricruz Garcia, and his brother, Ramsses Garcia, all of Long Beach.

Army Sgt. Israel Garcia was killed in action on 7/13/08.

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