Friday, January 2, 2009

His Star Has Turned From Blue to Gold

DOD identifies GI killed by bomb in Baghdad

Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Friday, January 2, 2009

The Defense Department on Tuesday identified a Baumholder, Germany-based soldier killed by a roadside bomb on Sunday in Baghdad’s Sadr City.

Spc. Tony J. Gonzales was assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team’s 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment. He was 20.

Gonzales is the son of Tony and Marlynn Gonzales of Newman, Calif. Family members who spoke with the Modesto Bee newspaper spoke of Gonzales’ patriotism.

"T.J. was always very patriotic and proud of his country. He knew he was going to go to Iraq, but that was OK," his sister Tammy Runzel was quoted as saying. "He was not there regretting it. He knew he was going there from the start, and it was part of his job."

Gonzales enlisted in the Army in 2006 after graduating from Freedom High School in Turlock, Calif., according to the news report. He planned to follow in his father’s footsteps, first into the military and then into a law enforcement career.

Patriotism and duty were among the traits instilled in Gonzales, his father said.

"If you live here, it is your duty to serve your country," his father said. "That is why I went in, and is what my thoughts always were."

He deployed to Iraq on April 6, his 20th birthday. Gonzales had trained as a tank driver, his family said, but spent most of his time in Iraq on foot patrol.

The City of Newman will fly its flags at half-staff in honor of Gonzales until after his funeral services, said Mayor Ed Katen, a friend of the family. Flags at the state Capitol in Sacramento will also be flown at half-staff in his honor, according to news reports.

Memorial services in the Baumholder military community have not yet been announced.

18 comments:

Julie said...

May God bless this young man and his family.

Grandpa-Old Soldier said...

He will be remembered. Hand Salute.

Tami said...

My thoughts and prayers are with this family during their tragic loss.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

aam

Michelle said...

Such a tragic loss. Thank you for sharing this.

DD2 aka Debonair Dude said...

God Bless Him

AirmanMom said...

julie...Amen!

AirmanMom said...

grandpa...he will be remembered with full respect and gratitude.

AirmanMom said...

aam...thank you for taking the time to stop by.

AirmanMom said...

michelle...tragic is the perfect word. So very sad.

AirmanMom said...

dd2...and prayers for his family who loves him so.

Dana said...

That's a sad, but uplifting story...

AirmanMom said...

dana...we have so many amazing men and women serving in our military!

Sue said...

Airmanmom,
I hope his family knows he will never be forgotten by his grateful nation.
God bless his family.
Sue

AirmanMom said...

sue...thank you for stopping by and leaving such beautiful words.

Mary Ellen said...

What a terrible sacrifice by one so young. These young men and women, so willing to give of themselves, humble me. God bless his family.

AirmanMom said...

ME...your words and prayers will no doubt ease the heart of those who are now in pain.

Tonjia said...

I am sending prayers out to this brave soldiers family.

May he rest peacefully in Gods arms...

AirmanMom said...

tinjia...amen!