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Marine Sgt. Jose L. Saenz III

Died August 9, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

30, of Pleasanton, Texas; assigned to 1st Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died Aug. 9 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, while supporting combat operations.

Marine sgt. ‘wore his uniform with a lot of honor’

The Associated Press

Jose “Joey” Saenz III believed he was meant to be a Marine, according to his twin sister, Bettina.

He kept in touch with his family while overseas by planning four-way phone calls on Fridays, which he often used to tease one of his three sisters, or to talk about dreaming of fajitas and a welcome-home party.

As father to a 5-year-old-son, Jose IV, he also had started to think about civilian life, his twin sister said.

Saenz, 30, of Pleasanton, Texas, was killed Aug. 9 by an explosive device while on patrol in Helmand province during his third tour of duty. He was assigned to Camp Pendleton and had served in Iraq.

“He wore his uniform with a lot of honor,” his mother, Leonor Saenz, said.

The San Antonio native graduated in 1999 from Pleasanton High School, where he played football and was active in band and art activities. Before joining the Marines a few years later, he worked as a mechanic at several places, including the Walmart where he met his wife, Christy Heritage-Saenz.

Saenz, a fan of the Tejano duo Grupo Vision, was fearless even in tough times and was known as a prankster, relatives said.

He’s also survived by his father.

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