Please pray for Fez, his family & the soldiers he left behind.
Fez was one of Hunter's medics. He was a good kid---we had him here for Thanksgiving dinner last year. He was the guy that the others ribbed as they would a younger brother.
In my mind's eye I can still see him sitting in the chair in our living room giving as good as he got from the other guy.
From our local paper:
3rd Brigade medic killed in Baghdad
San Antonio's Spc. Javier Paredes remembered warmly by friends, family
BY MICK WALSH - firstname.lastname@example.org --
Fort Benning's latest victim of the war in Iraq was identified only by his dog tags.
"That's how they confirmed it was him," said Pedro Paredes, the brother of Spc. Javier Paredes, who died Sept. 5 from injuries sustained when insurgents attacked his unit during combat operations in Baghdad. "I didn't want to accept it. I never thought that would happen to Javier."
The official release of Paredes' name by the Department of Defense was delayed for several days after they released the name of the other soldier in the attack -- Spc. Keith Nurnberg of McHenry, Ill.
Both were members of Fort Benning's *unit name left out by me* part of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, which has been deployed to Iraq since April 1. They were killed when a rocket-propelled grenade struck the Humvee in which they were riding.
Paredes, a 24-year-old medic from San Antonio, enlisted in the Army three years ago. A graduate of Ingram High School, he had worked in construction and as a dishwasher at a local market before joining the Army.
Family and friends were in shock when notified of Paredes' death after gathering at the home of his aunt, Maria Acevedo.
According to the San Antonio Express, Paredes lived much of his life in foster care.
"Javier was a good kid," Acevedo told the newspaper. "His mother would have been proud of him."
She died in 1999.
Paredes, known by his nickname Niño, lived with Acevedo just before he joined the Army in 2004.
The family described Paredes as a proud, strong soldier who loved his job and worked as a medic.
Gonzalo Paredes, 20, said he was going to miss his brother.
Paredes' best friend, Juan Medina, 21, said he worked with Paredes at the Central Market on Broadway in San Antonio for a few years.
Medina said his friend was a hard worker who washed dishes and did other jobs at the store, often volunteering for night and holiday shifts.
"The day he joined the military," he said, "he called me from the recruiter's office. I told him, 'Niño, what are you doing? You know we are at war, right?' But he said he had made his decision, that he was going to do it and I didn't need to worry. But that's the way he was, spontaneous."
Acevedo said she was also worried about her nephew's safety but told him the day he enlisted that he had her support in his decision.
"I told him joining the military was a bad decision," Pedro Paredes said, remembering that his brother also at some point considered college. "But when he makes up his mind about something, he does it, and he does it all the way."
The deaths of the two *again, leaving out unit name* soldiers brings to 10 the number from that battalion to die in the war. The toll in the brigade now stands at 22.