- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- Operation Spartan Shield
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Sgt. Frank M. Sandoval
Died June 18, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
27, of Yuma, Ariz.; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 5th Artillery, Fort Sill, Okla.; died June 18 in Palo Alto, Calif., of wounds sustained when his unit was attacked by insurgents using small-arms fire Nov. 28, 2005, in Tikrit, Iraq.
Army sergeant dies from head injury sustained in Iraq in 2005
The Associated Press
PALO ALTO, Calif. — An Army sergeant who struggled for nearly two years to recover from a head injury sustained in Iraq died when his brain swelled after surgery.
The plight of Sgt. Frank Sandoval, 27, moved people in at least three states who followed his recovery at the Veterans Administration hospital in Palo Alto. Sandoval died on June 18 after surgeons implanted a prosthesis to replace a part of his skull, according to the Defense Department.
Sandoval, of Yuma, Ariz., joined the Army after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He was on his second tour in Iraq when a bomb left him badly wounded on Nov. 28, 2005. After he was airlifted to Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C., his family was told he would probably not live more than 24 hours, and if he did, he would not be able to walk or see.
But he undertook months of rehabilitation, relearning to perform the simplest functions — swallowing, speaking, walking. He made much progress, and the prosthesis was designed to cover an exposed part of Sandoval’s brain, which would have allowed him to stop wearing a protective helmet, doctors said.
Before the surgery, Sandoval said he wanted to be more independent and not have to rely so much on his wife Michelle, 22, and the couple’s 5-year-old daughter, Joelena. But he was also worried “that I won’t wake up,” he said the day before the operation.
Sandoval was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Artillery, out of Fort Sill, Okla. His parents and wife decided to donate his organs to acknowledge his desire to use his life to help others.
“All he wanted to do was serve his country and make the world better,” said Frank Sandoval’s father Ricky Sandoval, a Department of Homeland Security official who works along the California-Mexico border. “Sometimes God takes good people, and Frank was a good person.”
Family remembers soldier who died of wounds suffered in Iraq
The Associated Press
Members of Army Sgt. Frank M. Sandoval’s military unit described their comrade as “the best of the best” — a soldier who always could be counted upon in a fight.
“If you were ever in a foxhole in a tight situation, Frank was the guy you wanted next to you,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffery Powell. “He was the toughest, meanest soldier who would always cover your back. He was awesome.”
Sandoval, 27, of Yuma, Ariz., died June 18 in Palo Alto, Calif., of wounds suffered when his unit was attacked in Tikrit, Iraq, on Nov. 28, 2005. He was assigned to Fort Sill, Okla., and was on his second tour.
In her eulogy, Brenda Sandoval recalled her younger brother’s love of Superman comic books while growing up. “Frank, you are and will forever be our Superman,” she said.
He also is survived by his wife, Michelle, and 5-year-old daughter, Joelena.
“All he wanted to do was serve his country and make the world better,” said Frank Sandoval’s father, Ricky Sandoval, a Department of Homeland Security official who works along the California-Mexico border. “Sometimes God takes good people, and Frank was a good person.”