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Army Sgt. Darrell L. Fernandez

Died January 31, 2009 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

25, of Truth or Consequences, N.M.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.; died Jan. 31 in Kirkuk, Iraq, of injuries sustained during a vehicle accident.

Fort Carson soldier dies after Iraq vehicle wreck

The Associated Press

FORT CARSON, Colo. — The Defense Department says a Fort Carson soldier from New Mexico died after a vehicle accident in Iraq.

The military said Wednesday that Spc. Darrell L. Fernandez died Saturday in Kirkuk. The accident is under investigation.

The 25-year-old Fernandez was from Truth or Consequences, N.M. He graduated from Hot Springs High School and married his high school sweetheart, Katrina, shortly after graduation, said his father-in-law, Richard Fair.

His grandmother, Ida Hamilton, 70, said Fernandez had been injured by shrapnel on his second tour of Iraq in 2006, and fought to recover so he could return to Iraq.

“It’s been real rough for all of us,” she said. “He did not say why he wanted to go back.”

Hot Springs High teacher Harry Nordgren, who taught American history to Fernandez, said, “These young men and women are every bit as great as my father that was in the second world war. A lot of Americans have a tendency to think that this generation can’t be a great generation. Darrell’s sacrifice put the lie to that concept.”

Fernandez enlisted after graduation and was assigned to Fort Carson’s 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.

Fair said Fernandez and his wife had hoped to have children after he returned permanently from Iraq.

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