EAGLE PASS, TX, USA U.S. Marines LCPL, B BTRY, 1ST BN, 11TH MAR, (BLT 3/1, 13TH MEU), 1ST MAR DIV, CAMP PENDLETON, CA KUWAIT NAVAL BASE, KUWAIT 05/27/2007
United States Marine Lance Corporal (Cpl.) Emmanuel Villarreal of Eagle Pass, Texas, died on May 27, 2007, at the age of 21, from a non-hostile vehicle accident at Kuwait Naval Base. He had been loading some heavy artillery when a cable snapped and fatally wounded him. Emmanuel was only one week into his second tour of duty in support of operations in Iraq.
Emmanuel joined the Marines in July 2004, shortly after receiving his diploma from C. C. Winn High School. He was a Texan who long wanted to serve his country. Little did he realize his military service would also bring him marriage. Emmanuel met his wife, Sylvia, while stationed at Camp Pendleton, California, and they exchanged wedding vows at his family’s home in Eagle Pass on December 30, 2006, in an intimate ceremony. Family in attendance included his mother Esperanza Villarreal and his sister, Edna Elizabeth Villarreal.
In the Marine Corps, his ability, dedication to duty, and friendly personality won him the respect of his commanding officer and the affection and goodwill of the other members of his unit. At his home base in Camp Pendleton, California, Emmanuel became a valued part of the congregation at the church he attended in Oceanside when not on deployment. On May 30, 2007, California Gov. Schwarzenegger issued a statement on the death of Lance Cpl. Emmanuel Villarreal, and he required that flags be flown at half-staff in honor of Emmanuel’s service.
His sister remembers Emmanuel as a very good brother who was always there to help. Instead of attending her high school graduation, she attended her brother’s funeral.