Houston, Texas, US
SPC, 87th Sapper Company, 8th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade
8/21/2010, Fort Hood, US
At 26, he enjoyed music.
“He had plans for himself, and he was going to try to work on his music abilities,” said Father Garry Cernoch, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Bay City
Armando was a Houston Parkview Baptist School graduate who records show at one time lived in San Antonio. He had family in Blessing, near Bay City, his birthplace. Aguilar joined the military nearly three years ago. He became a combat engineer after boot camp and had been assigned to the 87th Sapper Company, 8th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade. In Iraq, he did one of the Army’s most dangerous jobs: clearing bombs from roads with other troops in a route clearance team.
Sensing that he was depressed in a phone call from Iraq, his wife, Samantha, sent Aguilar’s favorite guitar to the war zone, where he played for the troops. But when he came home on midterm leave, “he was very jumpy. He was having nightmares about running in the field and being chased,” said his mother, Amelia Aguilar, 45.
His troubles might have begun after a battle buddy he went to basic training with committed suicide while in Iraq. A month or so before committing suicide, “Mondo,” as everybody called Aguilar, thought he was seeing shadows of the dead soldier. He twice tried to overdose and was hospitalized on both occasions, and he once was put on suicide watch after returning from Iraq. Two weeks before his death, he began taking an antipsychotic medication.
Amelia Aguilar recalled her son saying “‘I’m going to be like this the rest of my life.’ “And I said ‘No, son, they’re going to help you.’”
From Armando’s sister: My fallen hero is my older brother SPC Armando G. Aguilar J.R. He died August 21, 2010. He struggled with Post Traumatic Stress and possible TBI. He took his own life…he felt like he was going to be the way he was for the rest of his life and I think he just got tired of it. The military considers that he died “in the line of duty” for the fact that he wasnt in his right mind when he did what he did. My brother was always so happy and he made friends where ever he went. If he saw you in the store and didn’t know you he would get to know you. His favorite past time was playing his guitar. He loved music and loves playing it for other people. Through out his life he joined so many bands! Music and his family was his everything! He joined the Army in 2007 in hopes of helping his country. He loved his job and never regretted it one second. Thank You so much for your time. My parents are going to be surprised when they receive his portrait in the mail.
Armando Aguilar was 26 years old.