Saturday, October 02, 2010

Army Sgt. Brian J. Pedro

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Brian J. Pedro, 27, of Rosamond, Calif.

Sgt. Pedro was assigned to 2nd Engineer Battalion, U.S. Army Reserve, White Sands Missile Range, N.M.; died Oct. 2, 2010 in Pol-e-Khumri, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades.

A White Sands Missile Range soldier has become the latest casualty of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. This was his second combat tour to Afghanistan.

He was among soldiers with the WSMR's 2nd Engineer Battalion who deployed to Afghanistan in April.

"He had 14 aunts and uncles and over 50 cousins," said the mom, Lulalima Nelson. "He was loved by all and will be missed by a whole lot of people."

Pedro's family knows what it takes to hang the American flag in front of their home. On Sunday morning, a uniformed Army officer came to Lululima Nelson's door to tell her that her 27-year-old son had been killed.

Nelson explained her fears of her son's military career. "I hope this never happens to me, (but) I know there's a chance," she said. "And now that it has, I just want to let everybody know how proud I am of him."

Pedro went into the Army more than four years ago, and his family says he planned to make the Army his lifetime career. His mother shared with Eyewitness News that her son wanted to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather and stepfather.

"He just wanted to make everybody proud of him, and if he only knew how proud we were of him," Nelson said."I couldn't be happier that he did and died doing what he wanted to do."

"On behalf of everyone at White Sands, our thoughts and prayers are with Sgt. Pedro's family," said Monte Marlin, WSMR spokeswoman. "He is a part of the White Sands family, too."

According to Army records, Pedro was a utilities equipment repairer who joined the Army in Los Angeles in April 2006. He was previously stationed at Fort Knox, Ky.; Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.; and Bamberg, Germany. Pedro's military education includes the Airborne Course.

His military awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Good Conduct Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, and the NATO Medal.

He will be posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, and Combat Action Badge.

"It's very difficult for such a small community like White Sands to suffer a loss like this," Marlin said. "We're proud of Sgt. Pedro's service and his dedication. On behalf of the battalion and the (WSMR garrison) command, we will support his family in any way we can."

Army Sgt. Brian J. Pedro was killed in action on 10/2/10.

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