Channelville, Texas, U.S.A.
U.S. Marine Corps
LCPL,2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii
26/02/2007, Anbar Province, Iraq
My brother Anthony’s Story by Christina Costillo 02/04/08
My brother’s name is Anthony Aguirre. I got the “knock” on my door on February 26, 2007. He was 3 weeks shy of turning 21 years old. I last talked to him 10 days before he passed, he called me to let me know that he had just bought his ticket home. I was to pick him up in less that three weeks at the airport at 7:05 a.m.
My brother dreamed of nothing other than serving his country. He’d talked of nothing else since he was 3 years old. “When Anthony was a little boy he came across a small brown jacket with a small Marine emblem,” his sister said. “It was his prized possession. Since that day, he wanted nothing more than to serve his country.” We all knew that Anthony would go into the military. Anthony was stationed in Hawaii, and my family attended a memorial service a couple of months after my brother passed, and actually got to meet the men my brother saved.
My brother stepped on an IED that had been placed to go off as the Humvee parked in it’s usual spot. The Marines on that operation that day were doing their normal everyday sweep. My brother had been hurt three weeks prior to this so he was on foot patrol. The platoon commander told us that everyday they did the exact same patrol, sweeps, and never, never had a Marine chosen to patrol in front of the Humvee, always to the right and left of the tank. The command had just gone out for my brother to wrap up the sweep that they were done with the sweep, when his next footstep was on that IED. Anthony waited until everyone of his Marinebrothers was out of harms way before he released his foot.
The IED was connected to, two 30lb tanks of propane. Had my brother not been at that exact spot everyone of the troops, including my brother, on that sweep would have perished.
While we were in Hawaii, we met a staff sergeant that told us that my brother had been injured three weeks prior, and when my brother was told he would be discharged because of his injury, my brother literally got on his knees and begged him and the doctor not to release him. He told them that being a Marine was his life, and serving his country was what he lived for. The staff sergeant told us in all the years he’s been in the Corps, he’s never known a man with such dedication, commitment and passion to the Marine Corps. He knew by the look in my brother’s eyes that they would be destroying his life if they released him, and he didn’t have the heart to let him go. He told my brother he wished there were more Marines like him. Just three weeks later, Anthony saved his life, along with over twenty other Marines.
Christina Castillo LCPL Anthony Aguirre’s sister
The Anthony Aguirre Junior High School was dedicated in 2011 to honor the sacrifice of this hero.