Monday, September 29, 2008

Army Sgt. 1st Class Gary J. Vasquez

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. 1st Class Gary J. Vasquez, 33, of Round Lake, Ill.

SFC Vasquez was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died Sept. 29, 2008 in Yakhchal, Afghanistan, from wounds sustained when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device during mounted operations. Also killed were Capt. Richard J. Cliff and Sgt. 1st Class Jamie S. Nicholas.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Gary J. Vasquez
The Associated Press

People would tell Gary J. Vasquez that they were sorry each time he was sent back into a war zone.

“He would say, ‘What do you mean. I can’t wait,’” said his brother, Barry DuHasek.

Vasquez, 33, of Round Lake, Ill., was killed Sept. 29 in an explosion in Yakhchal. He was assigned to Fort Bragg and was on his third tour in Afghanistan.

He received a bachelor’s degree in drama from Illinois State in 1996. Theater professor Sandra Zielinski recalled Vasquez as “a delightful student” and “a very positive young man.”

“His personality was larger than life,” said DuHasek. “He was probably one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. He was my best friend and my brother.”

He enlisted about nine years and enjoyed reading and spending time with his dogs, Smash and Medea.

“He loved his job. He was happy to be doing what he was doing,” said DuHasek. “He basically indicated that he always wanted to be a soldier.”

He also is survived by his wife, Sarah, who with her husband would have celebrated their second anniversary on Oct. 14.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Gary J. Vasquez was killed in action on 9/29/08.



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