NORTH BEND, OR, USA U.S. Army SFC, COMPANY C, 2D BATTALION, 1ST SPECIAL FORCES GROUP, FORT LEWIS, WA BAGHDAD, IRAQ 08/23/2007
SFC Elizalde attended North Bend High School in North Bend, Oregon. He played on the varsity football and wrestling team. He graduated in 1995 and entered the Army in May 1996. Adrian was a strong, health and fitness conscious young man. SFC Elizalde enjoyed wrestling, mixed martial arts and hunting. He started wrestling at age 8 and became a standout star. In high school, he won a district championship in the 126-pound weight class, qualifying for the state tournament. Close friends note that he still talked about wrestling moves and cardio fitness.
He had talked about becoming a teacher after his time in the Army. He also talked about being a science teacher and possibly a wrestling coach.
Sergeant 1st Class Adrian M. Elizalde of North Bend, Indiana joined the Army in 1996, one year after graduating from North Bend High School. He was serious about his military career He volunteered for military service and entered the Army in May 1996 as an infantryman. He served four years as an infantryman and scout with 3rd Bn., 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment (AIR), and another three years as a Long Range Surveillance Detachment team leader with Company D, 519th Military Intelligence Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg. He later earned the coveted “Green Beret” after graduating from the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2005. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Meritorious Service Medal. Adrian was part of the 2d Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Lewis, Washington. Adrian died August 23, 2007 in Al Aziziyah, Iraq when an IED hit his truck. He was 30 years old.
Sergeant First Class Tim Freeland met and befriended Elizalde about 9 1/2 years ago at Fort Bragg and said of Adrian, “He’s my best friend. He’s somebody that I look up to and that I can always turn to. He’s one of those guys. He’d always get you into trouble, but he’d always get you out of trouble, too.”
SFC Elizalde is survived by his daughter, Sydney Grace, 6, of Klamath Falls, Oregon, and his parents, Jorge and Terese of Renton, Washington, and his sister Rachel Elizalde of Renton.
This son of Oregon is remembered as good-natured, a loyal friend, a good father, strong student and hard worker. “SFC Elizalde was a devoted father, friend, son and soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country,” said Governor Kulongoski. “He is a hero who will be missed by his community but never forgotten by the citizens of Oregon.”