GARNER, NC, USA
PFC, WPNS CO, 3D BN, 8TH MAR, (1-1 AD, I MEF FWD), 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC
AR RAMADI, IRAQ 07/27/2006
“When I think of Henry Sanchez,” A family friend said.
“I think of love because Henry loved so deeply and so fully in so many ways. He treated everyone with respect and dignity. I want to again hear Henry say, ‘God bless you guys, I love you guys,’ Henry I love you too.”
Private First Class Enrique Carlos Sanchez, known to friends as family as “Henry” was raised by his grandmother, Pat Ayscue from the time he was four days old. His mother and father, both serving in the Navy, had divorced. He grew up in Garner, North Carolina.
His grandmother said he had wanted to join the Marines from the time he was 11 years old. After graduating from Garner Senior High School, he had to lose weight before he could join, so he ran with an 80-pound backpack filled with bricks and dieted. Eventually he lost 152 pounds and was able to become one of the few, the proud.
After enlisting in the Marines, he became a turret gunner. He deployed to Fallujah in 2005, serving a seven-month tour. His time in Iraq made a deep impression upon him that was difficult to relate to his high school friends when he returned. He eventually returned to Iraq, patrolling the streets in and around Ramadi, in central Iraq. Before Sanchez left for the Middle East, he told loved ones he fought so they didn’t have to and that he was willing to die to protect their freedom.
Sanchez died when his Humvee ran over an explosive device in Ramadi, Al Anbar province, Iraq on 27 July 2006. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He posthumously earned the Bronze Star with valor device. He was 21 years old.
His sacrifice, along with the sacrifices of others, was honored by a joint resolution (2009-30) of the General Assembly of North Carolina on 6 August 2009. Henry will be missed by his mother Christie Otten, his friends and extended family and especially by his grandmother.
(Sources: Wilmington Star, 1 August 2006, “Marine from North Carolina who died this week in Iraq had wanted to join the Marines since he was about 11 years old, his grandmother said.”; http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/1057097/)