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Army Staff Sgt. Jason A. Vazquez

Died September 17, 2008 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

24, of Chicago; assigned to the 2nd Battalion 122nd Field Artillery, Illinois Army National Guard, Sycamore, Ill.; died Sept. 17 in Gerdia Seria, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. Also killed was 1st Lt. Mohsin A. Naqvi, Capt. Bruce E. Hays and Sgt. Joshua W. Harris.

Army Staff Sgt. Jason A. Vazquez

The Associated Press

Jason A. Vazquez’s fiancée said he was very involved with his family and was focused on his career.

“I watched him achieve everything he wanted in these past three years,” said Genevieve Gonzalez. “He made my life so much happier. He was more than just a partner, he was my best friend.”

Vazquez, 24, of Chicago, was killed Sept. 17 when his vehicle struck an explosive in Gerdia Seria. He was a 2002 high school graduate and was assigned to Sycamore, Ill.

Vazquez was the type of son who would hang his grandmother’s curtains, plant flowers in her garden and visit his grandparents regularly, relatives said. Even in Afghanistan, he found a way to talk to them every day. He last asked for his Chicago Bears and Cubs hats to be sent.

He and Gonzalez, who planned to marry on Labor Day in 2009, met on a MySpace Web site about three years ago. Vazquez helped his fiancée raise her 8-year-old daughter. “He was her world. She keeps asking: “Where is my Jason?’” Gonzalez said of her daughter.

“I just sent out three care packages” to him in Afghanistan, Gonzalez said. “He asked for his Chicago Bears and Cubs hats. I know he probably never received them.”

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