Eric D Salinas

HOUSTON, TX, USA U.S. Army SPC, COMPANY A, 2D BATTALION, 3D INFANTRY, FORT LEWIS, WA BAGHDAD, IRAQ 08/02/2007

Army Specialist Eric Domingo Salinas, 26, was killed by an improvised explosive device that detonated near his Stryker vehicle on Thursday, August 2, 2007 while on patrol in Baghdad, Iraq. The explosion also killed Staff Sergeant Fernando Santos, 29, of San Antonio, and Specialist Cristian Rojas-Gallego, 24, of Loganville, Georgia. Specialist Salinas was scheduled to return home from his tour of duty in September 2007, three days before his birthday. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Washington.

Eric was born in Harlingen, Texas and raised in Primera, a small community northwest of the city. He attended Wilson Elementary School before he moved to Houston with his mother when he was 9 years old. There he attended Northbrook High School and worked at a home-appliance warehouse before he enlisted in September 2004, two days before his birthday.

His aunt, Gracie DeLeon of Houston, told his hometown paper he leaves behind a 4-year-old son. “He wanted to fight for our country,” she told the Valley Morning Star in Harlingen, Texas. “He wanted to see the world, see different people and different cultures. It was something he always wanted to do.”

Ms. DeLeon said her nephew was a soccer and basketball fan and loved to dance. “He was the clown of the family,” she told the Star. “He was always coming out with silly things to do to entertain us. He was a great person.”

On August 10, 2007, Specialist Salinas’s body was laid to rest at the Restlawn Memorial Park in La Feria, Texas. Ms. DeLeon said she was grateful to everyone who attended the funeral — the military personnel, the Patriot Guard Riders, the law enforcement, and all the others — who may not have known her nephew but attended anyway.

Specialist Salinas is survived by his son, Anthony A. Ramos, his father, Domingo Salinas, of Lyford, Texas, and his mother, Juanita DeLeon, and stepfather, Ruben Aguilar, of Houston, Texas. He is also survived by his sister, Cristina M. Sanchez of Houston, a half brother, Jerry Salinas, and a half sister, Judy Ann Salinas (Perez) of Lyford. His awards included the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.

Eric’s portrait is also located on Poster 6