- NATO Kosovo Force
- 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. Joel Perez
Died November 2, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
25, of Rio Grande, Puerto Rico; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, based in Fort Sill, Okla.; killed Nov. 2 in an attack on a CH-47 Chinook helicopter near Fallujah, Iraq.
Funeral service held for N.J. soldier killed in Iraq
NEWARK, N.J. — Some 150 mourners attended a Nov. 10 funeral Mass for a soldier killed in Iraq while heading home on leave.
The casket of Sgt. Joel Perez was carried into the Cathedral Basilica of Sacred Heart past police and military honor guards. Monsignor William J. Reilly conducted the service in Spanish and English.
Perez spent some of his school years in Newark before returning to his native Puerto Rico. His wife, Milagros Perez, 18-month-old daughter, Jaileen, and mother, Luisa M. Mangual, live in the city.
Perez, 25, was among 16 soldiers killed when an Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter was downed Nov. 2 near Fallujah, Iraq.
Flags over state buildings flew at half-staff on Friday in his memory on order of Gov. James E. McGreevey.
Perez was assigned to the Army’s 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, out of Fort Sill, Okla. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart posthumously.
Perez is the eighth serviceman from New Jersey to die in Iraq, McGreevey spokeswoman Ellen Mellody said.
Perez was born in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. He attended Barringer High School in Newark and then graduated from high school in Puerto Rico. He enlisted in the Army in 1998, and was deployed to Iraq in May.
He also is survived by his by his father, Edwin Perez of Puerto Rico; and by his brothers, Elvin, Michael and Leo.