- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Staff Sgt. Hector R. Perez
Died July 24, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
40, of Corpus Christi, Texas; assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.; killed when his convoy came under enemy fire north of Hawd, Iraq, on July 24.
When Staff Sgt. Hector R. Perez was sent to Iraq in March at the start of the war, his family would anxiously gather around the television hoping to catch a glimpse of him on the news. As the months went on and soldiers kept dying, the only person still watching was Perez’s father.
Esequial Perez, a World War II veteran, would sit quietly in his wheelchair and hold out hope that his son would return home. Hector Perez, 40, of Corpus Christi, Texas, was killed July 24 when his convoy was ambushed.
“I was always proud, ever since he was a little boy,” said Esequial Perez, 77, as he cried softly. “He was always a good boy, always joking and playing around.”
Hector Perez, who joined the Army in June 1993, had been married to Elisa Perez for nearly 17 years and is survived by three daughters Marla, 14, Elisa, 13, and Lily, 4. “Men like him, men like my dad, are the reason for the freedoms that we all share. Remember that he was a hero,” said Perez’s sister, Rosa Anna Garza.
— Associated Press