Saturday, September 18, 2010

Army Pfc. Barbara Vieyra

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pfc. Barbara Vieyra, 22, of Mesa, Ariz.

Pfc. Vieyra was assigned to 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas; died Sept. 18, 2010 in Kunar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked her unit using an improvised explosive device and rocket-propelled grenade fire.

A young mother who grew up on an east Mesa dairy farm is the latest Arizona service member killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Barbara Vieyra, 22, died Saturday after her U.S. Army military police unit was attacked with an improvised explosive device and rocket-propelled grenade fire in Kunar province, Afghanistan, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

Vieyra, a 2006 graduate of Skyline High School in Mesa, was an expert marksman who had served previously in Korea, according to a spokesman at Fort Hood, Texas. She was the first southeast Valley woman killed in either conflict.

Vieyra was the mother of a little girl, according to her MySpace listing, and listed competitive swimming and dancing as among her interests on Facebook.

Barbara Feenstra of C-Bar Dairy said Barbara's father, Raul, has worked at the dairy for 24 years as an assistant herdsman. She said Raul and his wife, Elizabeth, were devastated when they were notified Saturday by the military about their daughter's death and had flown to Delaware to identify her body.

"We're just grieving along with them," Feenstra said. "She was a hero who gave her life for her country, the ultimate sacrifice."

Feenstra said she did not know Vieyra well, but cannot speak highly enough about her family and her father. She described him as a quiet, hardworking man and an ideal employee.

"They're just a very close family," Feenstra said. "And now she's not here anymore. This is a great family, solid as rocks. We had a chance to talk to them Saturday. It just devastated the family."

As of Memorial Day, 22 men from the southeast Valley who listed Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe or Ahwatukee Foothills as their hometown had been killed in Afghanistan or Iraq, according to a list compiled by The Arizona Republic.

Vieyra was assigned to the 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade. She was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. She also had been awarded the Army Commendation Medal, according to a military spokesman.

Army Pfc. Barbara Vieyra was killed in action on 9/18/10.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

may u rest in peace..... shipping off to fort sill on oct....ur the drive for future soldiers