Local Soldier is Killed in Afghanistan

A local soldier has been killed in Afghanistan. The Department of Defense says Sergeant Gabriel Guzman was killed Saturday in Gholam Hadar Kala, Afghanistan when his vehicle hit an improvised explosive device, a type of roadside bomb.


Army officials say the 25-year-old was originally from Hornbrook, California. Guzman was a paratrooper, a forward observer in the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Abn. Div. Army officials say he joined the army in July 2004, and he had previously served a year in Iraq.

Guzman attended high school and a bit of college in Concord, California before he enlisted in the Army. The post office in Hornbrook says it will fly flags at half-staff in honor of him.

Many of his friends left messages on MySpace along with slideshows with photos of him. One friend wrote, "you have blessed those around you with your charm and your sense of humor...I love you Gabriel Guzman, I will miss you but I know one day we will be together again."

Guzman is survived by his daughter Angela Haley of Bay Point, California; his father Reynaldo Guzman; his mother Shelly Tucker of Mount Shasta; and his sister Anni Watson of Antelope, California. According to a San Francisco TV station a memorial is planned for Sunday in Concord.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a statement regarding the death of Sergeant Guzman. It said, "his loss is a tribute to the extraordinary patriotism and commitment displayed by our men and women in uniform who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe." In honor of Sergeant Guzman, flags at the capitol were flown at half-staff.

Army officials also issued a statement regarding Guzman's death: "On a mission this past year while conducting a mountain clearance operation, Sergeant Guzman willingly gave the Platoon radio telephone operator his last bit of water knowing that we still had more than four kilometers to move," said 1st Sgt. Derek Gondek, C Company First Sergeant. "That is just the type of man that he was, his utmost concern was always his Paratroopers."

According to the Army, Guzman's awards and decorations include: the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Army Good Conduct Medal with two loops, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, the Combat Action Badge, and the Parachutist's Badge.

Von: www.ktvl.com, 13.03.2008

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