Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Army Staff Sgt. Omar Aceves

Remember Our Heroes

Army Staff Sgt. Omar Aceves, 30, of El Paso, Texas

SSgt Aceves was assigned to the 7th Engineer Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.; died Jan. 12, 2011 in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. Also killed were Cpl. Jarrid L. King and Spc. Benjamin G. Moore.

An El Paso soldier killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday will be remembered for his "big eyes and beautiful smile."

Sgt. Omar Aceves, 30, a husband and father, and two other soldiers were killed in Ghazni Province when their unit was struck by a homemade bomb.

The other soldiers were Spc. Jarrid L. King, 20, of Erie, Pa., and Pfc. Benjamin G. Moore, 23, of Robbinsville, N.J.

All three were combat engineers with the 693rd Engineer Company of the 7th Engineer Battalion from Fort Drum, N.Y.

Patricia Enriquez, Aceves' older sister, was one of the first members of the family to be notified. Aceves, one of five children, had two brothers and two sisters.

"The military did come over to pay their condolences," Enriquez said. "We were all in denial and kept thinking we were going to get a phone call saying they made a mistake."

Aceves' wife, parents and other sister were in Fort Drum on Friday to receive his body.

Enriquez said the rest of the family was still coming to terms with the death.

"Omar is a hero. He died fighting for our country and made us proud," she said as an official statement from the family. "Please keep us and all soldiers in your prayers. The war is not over."

Funeral arrangements had not been finalized as of Friday. Aceves' body will be buried either in El Paso, where he was born, or in Dallas, where his wife lives.

Omar Aceves was married to Leticia Aceves for six years. His children range in age from one year to eight years. He had two step-sons. His sister says he last saw his children in August, when he got a break in rotation. He was supposed to come home after his tour in April.

"They were his world," Enriquez said.

"When he was in town, he always wanted to spend time with his kids," Enriquez said. "They would all dress in military clothing, just like their daddy.

"I see his big eyes and his beautiful smile on them," she said.

When Aceves visited El Paso, he cherished time with the family and had an appetite for homemade Mexican food. Enriquez said he requested Mexican candy in his last package.

"The thing I remember the most about him is his big heart and great sense of humor," Enriquez said. "He had a great big smile that would just light up our lives."

After graduating Ysleta High School in 1999, Aceves spent four years in the military. After that, he spent time out of the service until he decided to make it a career and enlisted again in 2005.

He was then assigned to Fort Hood, where he met Leticia, before he was deployed to Iraq during 2006-2008.

After he returned from Iraq, he was stationed at Fort Drum, until he was deployed to Afghanistan last May.

"He was very proud of serving in the military," Enriquez said. "He felt the military was the best way to support himself and his family."

Along with his campaign medals, his decorations included the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Badge, the Air Assault Badge, the Marksman Qualification Badge and more, according to a press release from Fort Drum public affairs.

"He was a great father, husband and he was a great leader," Enriquez said.

"We are very proud of him because he did something that not everyone can do. He died fighting for his country, which he loved."

January 15, 2011 -- Condolence Book

"My comrade,my friend,my brother,to your family I send my condolences and prayers.Today is a very sad day for me,the day that I heard that I lost a very special friend in you.I am glad to have been able to serve with and get to know you.I will miss you forever and will always remember the times we got to share here on earth together.We will share more later I know but the present is so hard to believe that I won't be able to share any more of the laughs and the old stories when we were roommates at Ft.Hood and of our last deployment but those are memories that I will forever hold onto.You were a great man Ace and an even better husband and father and I will forever pray for your wife and kids.May God always bless and protect them.To the family stay strong and your son,husband,father,brother(Omar "ACE" Aceves)will forever be missed by all the people he came in contact with and knew him.May God bless you all.I miss you Ace. Rest In Peace friend."

Sgt. Aceves is survived by his wife Leticia and 6 children; two sisters and two brothers and his parents who live in El Paso.

Army Staff Sgt. Omar Aceves was killed in action on 1/12/11.

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