Specialist Nathaniel Aguirre gave his life while trying to save his brothers. He ran out exposed to enemy fire to save a wounded soldier, and he probably knew it was a Chechen-style Ambush and that he would be targeted next. He was a member of the famed 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry, whose unofficial motto is "Regulars, By God!"
The official unit motto is "Deeds Not Words!" and you can see that Nathan Aguirre defined both mottoes.
From the Dallas Morning News:
A framed picture in his parents' home shows Nathaniel Aguirre smiling proudly after completing his last jump at the U.S. Army Airborne School two years ago at Fort Benning, Ga.
The jump signified the end of his airborne training and the start of his military career.
Spc. Aguirre couldn't wait to serve his country. He joined the reserves while still in high school in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch school district and put off plans to attend Texas A&M University so he could sign up for the Army.
"He didn't want to wait four years to go into the service," his father, Louis L. Aguirre of Carrollton, said Thursday. "He wanted to serve."
Spc. Aguirre, 21, was working as an Army combat medic when he was killed Sunday in Baghdad. According to the Department of Defense, he died of injuries suffered when his patrol encountered enemy forces...
A neighbor of the Aguirre family, Humberto S., sends this message about Nathaniel Aguirre:
I just wanted to mention Medic Spc. Nathaniel Aguirre who killed by a sniper on October 22 in Iraq. We live across the street from the Aguirres when Nathaniel's Mom called to tell us that they just notified her that he had been killed. My son is an infantry soldier who had just joined 4th I.D. at Ft Hood from Ft. Reily. My son had just returned from Iraq in February and had missed Nathaniel's deployment. Nathaniel's Mom requested that my son escort Nathaniel home. My son was sent to Dover Airforce base to meet Nathaniel and bring him home. The duties preformed by my son for Nathaniel greatly affected him. Nathan was a good son, a good man and a great soldier. He volunteered for the mission that lead to his death because that unit did not have a medic on that day. He was attempting to help another soldier that was also killed and Nathaniel was awarded the Bronze Star.
Also, the Patriot Guard Riders escorted Nathaniel from DFW airport to a memorial service in Carrollton, Texas and finally to South Texas were he was laid to rest. They were exceptional in their demeanor and devotion to the Aguirre family. Thousands of people lined the streets and highways as Nathaniel was escorted from Carrollton, Texas to San Antonio. It demonstrated to my son who is slated to redeploy to Iraq in 2007 that there are citizens that respect and admire our soldiers.
...The 2003 graduate of Creekview High School in Carrollton did not know that his sacrifice for his country would be recognized by thousands who lined the streets of Carrollton and other cities as a motorcade and hearse carrying his body passed by.
The large St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church on Peters Colony Drive in Carrollton was almost filled to capacity Thursday morning as priests offered words of comfort to the family and as a relative eulogized the fallen soldier.
Outside the church, soldiers, members of the Patriot Honor Guard and Christian Motorcycle Association stood at attention on the flag-filled lawn as the flag-draped casket was brought out of the church and loaded into the waiting hearse.
With members of the Carrollton Police Department in front, the honor guard and other motorcycle riders led the hearse and motorcade past Blalack Middle School which is across the street from the church, over to Creekview High School, then back down Standridge Street to Frankford Street.
Students at Blalack, Creekview and Rainwater Elementary School had been allowed to leave their classrooms and align the streets as the motorcade and hearse passed by.
Not a word was spoken. The only sounds that were heard were those of the motorcycles and an occasional brief blast from a siren.
Students, faculty members, residents and employees of businesses along the route stood solemnly and silently as the motorcade and hearse passed by. Many standing by the streets held U.S. flags of various sizes at an angle. Many saluted and others held a hand over their heart.
A security guard for the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District commented, “This is quite a civics lesson for these students.”
Aguirre had been a Boy Scout. Scouts in uniform were seen along the route. Some were holding flags. All were saluting.
Some businesses on Frankford had lowered their huge flags outside to half staff.
Carrollton police, firefighters with fire trucks and other city employees assisted in traffic control as the motorcade and hearse headed west on Frankford and then south on I-35 toward South Texas.
The motorcade and hearse then continued its journey of almost 300 miles south on U.S. 67 and then south on U.S. 281 toward Spring Branch, just north of San Antonio. Guard changes were made in Hamilton and Burnet.
Another funeral service for Aguirre was held Friday morning at the St. Joseph Church Honey Creek in Spring Branch, near the burial site.
Aguirre is survived by his parents, Louis and Mary Aguirre, and a sister, Melissa.
Sparkman Dickey Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
A member of the Aguirre family said, “The Aguirre family wishes to express their appreciation to everyone for their prayers, sympathy and support. Keep our soldiers, their families and our leaders in your prayers.”
Be sure to vote today. That would be a good way to honor his memory.
Godspeed, Nathaniel Aguirre.