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Emilio J Campo


U.S. Army


06/06/2011, BAGHDAD, IRAQ

Specialist Campo, a 20 year old medic from Madelia, MN. joined the Army to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor. Marcella Rivera, SPC. Campo’s cousin added that he wanted a career in medicine and thought the Army was his best opportunity for that. “He thought he wanted to be a doctor, but he told his mom, ‘I’ve got to be realistic because we can’t pay for college.'”

Emilio followed his older brother, Hector, into the military after graduating in 2009 from Madelia High School. Principal Allan Beyer said SPC Campo played basketball and participated in track, football and choir. “He was a real credit to his family, his school and his community. Every time he was home on leave, he’d come to visit with schoolmates, teachers and staff. He was very proud of what he was doing.”

Others shared memories of SPC. Campo. “It’s like losing a son, even though he’s not my son,” said Kathy Schumacher, a teacher.

Dustin VanHale, a classmate and good friend, said SPC Campo “was always best friends with everybody.” He was a motivator, telling basketball teammates after a 25-point loss, “don’t worry, we’ll get ’em next time.” Specialist Campo had a special girlfriend, Samantha Crowley. She and Emilio were prom king and queen in 2009. Childhood friend Tom Schumacher described SPC. Campo as “a very social person.”

“He was always the most calm. He was the funny one. We did a lot of stuff, he just loved doing stuff. He just tried to live his life to the fullest. He was always helping other people. He felt (the Army) was one way he could help.” Schumacher said Emilio appeared to be unafraid.

“He was always the one who told everybody not to worry, shrugged it off like it was no big deal. Made it seem like he was invincible. That’s what we always said.”

Brendon Caraway, another friend explained that he had joined the Marine Reserves about the same time SPC. Campo joined the Army. “I haven’t been overseas,” Caraway said. “When Emilio came home in February he was talking to me about what it’s like and everything. He’s a medic, just doing his job, just gotta do the best you can and be careful.”

The Fort Riley community recently gathered to remember seven fallen soldiers. Among them was SPC. Campo. SPC. Derek Wolske spoke of SPC. Campo during the Soldier Tribute at the memorial service.

“Campo was soft spoken, organized, athletic and very confident in his approach to life. His primary purpose in life was God and his Family. If you ever needed a smile in a tough situation, you could always look in Campo’s direction. He cared deeply for others, and life’s obstacles rarely upset him.”


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