Monday, October 26, 2009

Army Staff Sgt. Luis M. Gonzalez

Remember Our Heroes

Army Staff Sgt. Luis M. Gonzalez, 27, of South Ozone Park, N.Y.

SSgt. Gonzalez was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.; died Oct. 27, 2009 in Arghandab Valley, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an IED. Also killed were Army Sgt. Fernando Delarosa, Army Sgt. Dale R. Griffin, Army Sgt. Issac B. Jackson, Army Spc. Jared D. Stanker, Army Pfc. Christopher I. Walz and Army Sgt. Patrick O. Williamson.

A Queens mother whose youngest son was killed this week in Afghanistan tearfully condemned the war on Friday.

"I don't agree with this war," Bienvenida Gonzalez, 60, told the Daily News as she grieved for her son, Staff Sgt. Luis Gonzalez. "There's a lot of families that it's tearing apart."

The 28-year-old died Tuesday along with six other soldiers when enemy forces blew up their vehicle.

The soldier's wife, Jessica, who also is in the Army, declined to comment, saying, "This is our time tomourn."

They have a 5-month-old son, Isaiah.

Gonzalez, who grew up in Corona, eagerly enlisted in the Army eight years ago after graduating from John Bownes High School - and asked his mother to pray that he passed the test.

"He was a good boy, very happy," she recalled.

In their last phone conversation two weeks ago, she said, "he said not to worry about him at that moment because he was fine," and talked about coming home from combat in January.

Family friend Miriam Polanco said Gonzalez's parents were anguished over whether to talk about their opposition to the war.

"They decided you have to speak up," she said. "You don't want this thing to continue."

Army Staff Sgt. Luis M. Gonzalez was killed in action on 10/26/09.

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