MISSION, TX, USA U.S. Army SPC, 43RD ENGINEER COMPANY, FORT HOOD, TX MOSUL, IRAQ 05/06/2008
Specialist Alex D. Gonzalez was born January 27, 1987 in McAllen, TX. He was adopted and raised by his biological uncle and grew up in a combined family, the only boy in a house of girls. “He was full of life and joy,” said his sister. He was a prankster and a jokester, his uncle Armando Rodriguez said. However, he always cared about everybody. He never wanted to offend anybody. He was a born storyteller who came from an enormous, close-knit family yet quickly adopted baseball and football teammates into his clan, as he later did with his fellow soldiers. He was always protective of his three younger sisters, his cousins and his friends.
Alex dreamed of being a soldier since childhood, wanting to follow in the footsteps of his dad who had once been an Army Paratrooper. “He told me he just wanted to be just like me, or even better,” his father said. “He just wanted to wear the uniform, join the Army, ever since he was small. That’s what he was.”
Alex graduated from Mission Texas High School in 2005where he was a football and baseball player and then joined the Army. He was assigned to Fort Hood, TX in the 43rd Combat Engineer Company, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. In April 2008 he was injured in Iraq and spent two weeks in the hospital with a hairline fracture on one of his ribs and an injury to a leg, which earned him award of the Purple Heart.
Alex was very proud to be serving and protecting his country. He frequently volunteered for dangerous missions, saying that if he did not, one of his fellows would have to. Communicating frequently with his family back home via emails, he shared his dreams and stories. After his four years in the military, Alex wanted to become a Mission police officer. “He was a great young man and I was really fond of him,” Mission police Chief Leo Longoria said.
Alex died May 6 in Mosul, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his vehicle encountered small arms fire and a rocket-propelled grenade attack.