Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Army Pfc. Adriana Alvarez

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pfc. Adriana Alvarez, 20, of San Benito, Texas

Pfc. Alvarez was assigned to the 504th Military Police Battalion, 42nd Military Police Brigade, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; died Feb. 10, 2010 in Baghdad, of injuries sustained while supporting combat operations.

A San Benito family who was looking forward to their soldier's return this summer is now dealing with her death.

"We were counting the days and it just happened.... It's very devastating, shocking," says the sister of 20-year-old Private First Class Adriana Alvarez. A casualty assistance officer knocked on the family's door Wednesday evening to deliver the news. "Every time I have to give a notification... it's very difficult. Each one of them is very difficult," says Master Sgt. John Garcia.

Military officials say Alvarez did not die in combat and her death is under investigation. Alvarez is the Valley's first female soldier to die in Iraq.
The U.S. Army policewoman was found Wednesday in Baghdad with a gunshot wound, her sister said. Military officials were investigating Alvarez’s death, her sister said.

"The family’s overwhelmed," said Lydia Caballero, a spokeswoman for America’s Last Patrol, who said the organization was speaking on the family’s behalf. "The family is very confused," Caballero told reporters early Friday evening. "In the last two or three hours everything began to sink in."

Army Pfc. Adriana Alvarez entered military service fresh out of high school, hoping it would pave the way to a criminal justice career.
She was deployed to Iraq in August and, true to her goal, was serving in the military police. She kept in touch with emails and phone calls from Baghdad to her San Benito home, last calling her mother and three sisters on Monday.

Wednesday night officials told the family that Alvarez had been found dead that morning. She had only recently turned 20. The cause of death remained under investigation.

“That was the last time we saw her, when she came home for her birthday in November,” said Alma Alvarez, 25, the oldest of her sisters. “She was just a normal teenager, 20-year-old, who had dreams and everything. Just knowing she's not going to come back, that breaks my heart.”

Alvarez's portrait in her Army uniform was still on a wall in the family's living room Friday, showing a proud, smiling face.

Alma and Diana Alvarez, 16, spoke of her love of photography and classic rock music, and of her steadfast decision to do her duty in the military. She was brave, they said, brave enough to enlist and proud to be serving her country. She always seemed upbeat and happy. "Every day, we just think it's not real, it's not true,” Diana said.

Her mother, Alicia, who had emigrated to the United States from Matamoros, Mexico, was too grief-stricken to speak to visitors. Alma said she was trying to be strong for the others, including her mother and youngest sister, who is 10.

The family hadn't wanted Adriana to sign up, but had supported her decision, Alma said. She told them she knew what she was getting into. “I do want people to know who she was and how she never complained,” Alma said. “She knew she had to serve her country. It's just hard when you lose somebody you love.”

Her death makes her the first female service member from the Rio Grande Valley to die in the war in Iraq.

“The Rio Grande Valley, as Texas, has lost many — too many — like Pfc. Alvarez,” said Rep. Eddie Lucio III, D-Brownsville, in a prepared statement. “She is unique, however, because she is the first young woman from our community to lose her life in this war. We hope she will be the last soldier that San Benito, the Valley, or the nation must mourn, but realize that there may be others.”

Army Pfc. Adriana Alvarez was killed in action on 2/10/10.


Anonymous said...

Has there been an update to the investigation? Please update if there is additional information.

Prayers to the family...

Stephanie Rivera said...

the investigation is over. out of respect for her family the findings of what happen to this Soldier are confidential. I worked on her to save her life, there was nothing that we could do. I just pray that her family finds peace. this one still makes me cry and I can still her when I close my eyes at night. May she rest in peace. never forgotten, gone to soon.