IRVING, TX, USA U.S. Army SGT, 543D MP COMPANY, 92D MP BATTALION, 89TH MP BRIGADE, FORT DRUM, NY BAGHDAD, IRAQ 01/14/2007
Paul’s sister Tina:
My brother was well liked by anyone who crossed his path. He made everyone smile because he was always smiling. If someone needed help he was there to help. He was that person who had a shoulder to cry on or just someone to talk to. His faith in God was amazing. He loved his children and his family and like most soldiers he loved what he was doing.
A 32-year-old military police soldier from Irving who loved being a dad and hoped to join the Irving Police Department died in Baghdad on Sunday.
Sergeant Paul T. Sanchez was killed by an explosive device during combat. He was assigned to the 91st Military Police Battalion’s 543rd Military Police Company, based in Fort Drum, N.Y. Sergeant Sanchez left for Iraq shortly after Thanksgiving for his second tour there. He ended a one-year deployment to the country in February 2005.
“He loved what he was doing,” said his mother, Kathy Sanchez of Irving. “He was ready to go.”
Mrs. Sanchez described her son as a laid-back man who called his two children as often as possible. She said his wife, Kym, who lives in Fort Drum, was taking his death hard, as were his family and friends.
“I’m hoping we’ll have a big enough room for his funeral because everybody is calling wondering where it is going to be,” his mother said.
Sergeant Sanchez was a former Irving High student who obtained his GED before enlisting. His mother said he joined the Army in 2000 and re-enlisted so he could work as a military policeman. His goal was to return to Texas and become an Irving police officer when his second enlistment ended in 2009.
“Whenever he did something, he did it all the way,” Mrs. Sanchez said.
Sergeant Sanchez is at least the third former student from Irving High to die in Iraq in 2 ½ years. In 2004, Spc. Josiah Vandertulip died after his patrol came under fire. In 2005, Lance Cpl. Nazario Serrano was killed in a mortar attack.
Mrs. Sanchez said she still feels like she is living a bad dream.
“When the military people came on Sunday, I knew when I opened the door what it was,” she said.
Sergeant Sanchez enlisted in 2000 and served in Germany before going to Iraq. In 2005, he retrained to become a military policeman. His decorations included the Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal and National Defense Service Medal. Mrs. Sanchez said his relatives are proud of Sergeant Sanchez, who had planned to return to Irving partly because he wanted to be with his children.
In addition to his wife and mother, Sergeant Sanchez is survived by his 12-year-old daughter, Ashleigh; 10-year-old son, Adrian; father, Paul Sanchez; and sister, Tina Sanchez.