Twenty-five-year-old Cpl. Armando Gonzalez out of the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort was killed in an accident in southern Iraq on Monday. This is the first casualty from the air station Beaufort since Operation Iraqi Freedom began nearly four weeks ago. Although the war in Iraq is winding down, our troops are still out putting their lives on the line for our freedom.
Officials say Cpl. Gonzalez died when a refueler truck collapsed on him. Gonzalez was a motor vehicle operator with Marine Wing Support Squadron 273. This young corporal had been in Iraq since January and had been providing support to a Marine unit from Camp Leguene, North Carolina. Last night, his fellow Marines back home are mourning his death.
"The events going on over there we've kind of watched unfold on TV, but this is different," said Capt. Donald Caetano of MCAS. "It brings those events close to home now, and we offer our condolences to the family of Cpl. Gonzalez' wife and his family in Florida. The Marines here are grieving. We've lost one of our own and it definitely affects us all."
Cpl. Gonzalez leaves behind a wife, who is staying with his family in Florida. The air station is planning a memorial service and we'll let you know more about that when we get information.