- NATO Kosovo Force
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Octave Shield
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- Operation Spartan Shield
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Master Sgt. Emigdio E. Elizarraras
Died February 28, 2006 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
37, of Pico Rivera, Calif.; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, N.C.; killed Feb. 28, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during a reconnaissance mission in Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan.
Green Beret killed in Afghanistan blast
FORT BRAGG, N.C. — A North Carolina-based Green Beret was killed when a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle in Afghanistan this week, the Department of Defense said Thursday.
Master Sgt. Emigdio E. Elizarraras, 37, of Pico Rivera, Calif., died Tuesday north of Tarin Kowt while he was on a reconnaissance patrol. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion of the 7th Special Forces Group.
Elizarraras is the 11th soldier from the 7th Group to die in Afghanistan. Twenty-six Fort Bragg-based Special Forces soldiers have died in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Elizarraras joined the Army in 1986 and deployed in the first Gulf War. He had also been stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky., Fort Benning, Ga. and Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. He volunteered for Special Forces in 1997.
Elizarraras also was a Ranger and his awards include four Army Commendation medals.
Surviving are Elizarraras’ wife, Kris, two daughters and a son, all of Fayetteville. He also is survived by parents, Emigdio and Martha Elizarraras, of Pico Rivera, Calif., and a sister.
His family said in a statement released by the Army that he “gave his life for his country — protecting our freedoms, our families and America’s way of life.”
— Associated Press
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Southern Californian soldier killed by roadside bomb in Afghanistan
PICO RIVERA, Calif. — Flags were flown at half-staff at the state Capitol Tuesday in honor of a Southern California Army sergeant who was killed in Afghanistan when a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle.
Master Sgt. Emigdio Elizarraras, 37, of Pico Rivera died Feb. 28 while on reconnaissance patrol. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion of the 7th Special Forces Group, based in Fort Bragg, N.C.
Elizarraras “committed himself to the dangerous task of protecting our freedom,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement. “His dedication to this country will not be forgotten.”
Elizarraras joined the Army in 1986 and served in the first Gulf War. His awards include four Army Commendation medals.
“EZ” was a positive influence, say colleagues, friends
LOS ANGELES — As a tall teenager, Emigdio E. Elizarraras played four positions on the baseball team at El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera and teammates appreciated his versatility and outgoing personality.
His coach, Ben Meza, wrote a recommendation letter supporting Elizarraras’ decision to enlist in the military.
His military colleagues and friends, who called him “EZ,” also appreciated Elizarraras for being a positive influence.
Elizarraras, 37, died Feb. 28 when a roadside bomb exploded near his Humvee during a reconnaissance mission in Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan, southwest of Kabul.
“He was very well-liked throughout our company and within the battalion,” Master Sgt. Vince Sepulveda, of South Pasadena, said in an e-mail from Afghanistan. “I am truly grateful to have known him, been his friend and served with him in the Special Forces.”
Elizarraras served in the Army for 19 years. He enlisted after graduating from high school in 1986 and attended basic training at Ft. Benning, Ga. He served as a Special Forces master sergeant assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group at Ft. Bragg, N.C., at the time of his death.
Meza, who coached Elizarraras during his junior and senior years, said he remembers that Elizarraras saw the military as a good opportunity to do something different.
“I feel sadness and great concern for the family,” Meza said. “He was still a young man.”
Elizarraras’ family in a statement posted on the Army’s Special Operations Command online news site thanked the public for its support.
“The Elizarraras family would like to thank friends and members of the Special Operations community for their sincere expressions of sympathy during this very difficult time,” the family’s posting read. “Your support is appreciated as we mourn the loss of Emigdio, who was a loving husband, a devoted father, a caring son and a selfless soldier.”
Elizarraras is survived by his wife, Kris; a son, Andrew; and two daughters, Olivia and Sally, all of Fayetteville, N.C.; his parents, Emigdio and Martha Elizarraras, of Pico Rivera; and a sister, Leticia, of Peoria, Ariz.
— Associated Press