Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Army Spc. Eduardo S. Silva

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Eduardo S. Silva, 25, of Greenland, Calif.

Spc. Silva was assigned to the 563rd Aviation Support Battalion, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; died June 9, 2009 at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, of a non-combat-related incident.

The Salinas Californian -- Sara Silva says she knew something was wrong when two uniformed military officers arrived at the door of her Greenfield home Tuesday.

The officers were there to break the news that her eldest son, Army Spc. Eduardo Silva, had died in Afghanistan.

"He was going to serve his country," said Sara Silva, who last saw her son about two months ago when the 25-year-old left Afghanistan for the Salinas Valley for a visit.

"He thought [joining the Army] was something good for him," she said of her son, who graduated from Greenfield High School in 2002.

The U.S. Department of Defense said Eduardo Silva, a 101st Airborne Division soldier, died from "non-combat related injuries" in Bagram, Afghanistan, on Tuesday.

The Defense Department said it won't release more information regarding his death as officials continue to investigate.

"We really don't know what happened to him," Sara Silva said.

On Thursday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a statement regarding the fallen soldier, saying that Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

According to a Fort Campbell official, Eduardo Silva entered the Army in August 2006 and arrived at the military base in July 2008.

He graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C., and was deployed with the 159 Aviation Brigade in November 2008.

Officials said the soldier worked as a food service specialist an Army cook. He also had spent about six months in Iraq, Sara Silva said.

She said the family now awaits the arrival of the casket carrying her son's body from Delaware to California.

The news of Eduardo Silva's death also came as a shock to others who knew him.

"No, not him," said Soledad teacher Victoria Zieber, when she heard the news.

Zieber was Eduardo Silva's teacher at Vista Verde Middle School and his band instructor since fourth grade in Greenfield. Zieber said Eduardo played the drums.

"He was a gentleman and respectful," she said. "He would come to me and ask, 'Can I help you with anything after class?' "

Ten years ago, Zieber was about four months pregnant with her son and couldn't think of a name.

Zieber said she thought about her best students. She thought of Eduardo, she said. "I named my son after him," she said, "That's how incredible he was."

Army Spc. Eduardo S. Silva was killed in a non-combat related incident on 6/9/09.

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