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Army Pfc. Caesar S. Viglienzone

Died February 1, 2006 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

21, of Santa Rosa, Calif.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.; killed Feb. 1 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee in Baghdad. Also killed were 1st Lt. Garrison C. Avery and Spc. Marlon A. Bustamante.

Relatives mourn Santa Rosa soldier who died in Baghdad

The Associated Press

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — Pfc. Caesar Viglienzone often lamented the conditions he endured in Iraq in emails home and postings on his Web site, but he never stopped believing in his work there, relatives said.

“In his last e-mail to his cousin, Sam, he said, ‘Iraq is definitely going to be OK. ... The vast majority of Iraqis want us here, not to keep occupying their county forever but want us to stay, finish the job and pass the torch on to them,”’ the soldier’s uncle Ray Viglienzone said Friday.

Viglienzone, 21, and two others died doing that job when a roadside bomb exploded near their Humvee in Baghdad on Wednesday, the Department of Defense announced Friday.

Also killed in Wednesday’s attack were 1st Lt. Garrison C. Avery, 23, of Lincoln, Neb., and Spc. Marlon A. Bustamante, 25, of Corona, N.Y. All three were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, based at Fort Campbell, Ky.

On his Web site, Viglienzone posted photos of himself in Iraq and wrote of his experience there. In a posting on Jan. 15, he looked forward to his two-week leave in March “which should be a spectacular tease.”

“He would have rather been at home at times, but the guys there were his buddies. He was an only child; they were his brothers,” his mother, Norma Viglienzone, said.

Born in Honolulu, Viglienzone grew up in Santa Rosa and joined the Army a year after graduating from Ridgway High School. He was deployed to Iraq last September, two weeks after his 21st birthday.

“Caesar’s decision to join the Army was born from a desire to do something he could be proud of and all of his family could be proud of,” Ray Viglienzone said. “He was proud and we are proud of him.”

Funeral services are pending.

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