By Treto Garza Rio Grande Guardian
HARLINGEN, Feb. 14 – Adriana Alvarez of San Benito was killed in action in Iraq this past week. She is the first female soldier from the Rio Grande Valley to suffer such a fate. Our heartfelt condolences go to the family.
At a recent public meeting in Raymondville, Congressman Solomon Ortiz made the announcement that the Iraq War would be over in December of this year. Let us hope he is right. Far too many young Americans have perished in this controversial war. The only good thing to come of it so far is that it has united many Americans to support our troops and veterans.
The circumstances surrounding Pfc. Alvarez’s death are not known at this time. The fact remains that she was indeed part of the war effort in Iraq. She served as a military police officer. In a war like Iraq, no one is safe and away from danger. The war is everywhere. So, whatever the circumstance, she died a hero. I was tempted to use the work heroine to describe a female hero, but that word does not sound right to me. In Spanish it is “heroina.” And we all know what those words describe. Pfc Alvarez was proudly serving her country in the United States Army. She paid the ultimate sacrifice in that far off land. Again, may she Rest In Peace and I ask that the whole Valley join in prayers to help the family come together in this delicate time. Their grief is our grief. We must never abandon our troops. Never.
Pfc. Alvarez is the third San Benito native to die in Iraq. This once again proves and shows the commitment that our Valley has and always will have to answering the call to duty. We do not shy away. And at times like this, we should become a force of one. Semper Fi!
Treto Garza is co-chair of the Veterans Alliance of the Rio Grande Valley. A Vietnam War veteran and prolific writer on veterans’ issues, Garza is a resident of Harlingen, Texas. His Veterans Voice column appears exclusively in the Guardian.
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