Sunday, September 25, 2011

Army 1st Lt. Andres Zermeno

Remember Our Heroes

Army 1st Lt. Andres Zermeno, 26, of San Antonio

1st Lt Zermeno was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Polk, La.; died Sept. 25, 2011 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by a rocket-propelled grenade.

Lt Zermeno was born in Brownsville, TX and moved to San Antonio to attend university. He loved music and taught himself to play guitar.

He graduated from St. Mary's University with a degree in psychology. He was active in the ROTC and campus ministry. He met his wife Rachel while attending the university.

Lt Zermeno served in the National Guard while attending St Mary's and was commissioned into the Army upon graduation. This was his first deployment. He had been in Afghanistan for 11 months and was due home in about a month.

“His love for his wife Rachel was shown daily by the way he looked at his wedding ring, the way he talked about her and the way he talked with her on the phone,” said Army 1st Lt. Chad Presser in a message from Zermeño's unit in Afghanistan. “Not a day went by that he didn't brag or have a story about what his kids were doing back home."

Zermeño, known as “Z” and “Andy,” was remembered as an inspiration and “a gift to us” by university chaplain Charles “Kip” Stander, who co-officiated at the bilingual services with the deceased's brother Joaquin Zermeño, pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in San Juan.

A message from Army 1st Lt. Peter Houhoulis in Iraq said, “You were one of the best leaders I have ever seen,” he wrote. “You earned the respect of your peers and subordinates by your willingness to take on the tough jobs and see them through.”

1st Army Lt. Stephen Moreno recalled Zermeño as a mentor and caring friend who helped him survive rigorous ROTC training.
“His sense of humor and down-to-earth mentality always kept the mood positive,” Moreno said.

Lt Zermeno's awards and decorations include:
Bronze Stars (2)
Purple Heart
Army Commendation Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Overseas Service Ribbon
NATO Medal
Combat Action Badge

Lt Zermeno was laid to rest on October 8th at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.

Lt Zermeno is survived by parents, Dolores and Juan; wife, Rachel and their children, 3-year-old Steven and 20 month-old, Madeline; sister, Isabel and brothers, Juan, Joaquin and Adrian.

Army 1st Lt. Andres Zermeno was killed in action on 9/25/11.

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