LITTLE ROCK, AR, USA U.S. Army SFC, DETACHMENT 1, C COMPANY, 1ST BATTALION / 153D INFANTRY, DEQUEEN, AR 71832 BAGHDAD, IRAQ 05/20/2004
Staff Sergeant Troy “Leon” Miranda had been in the Arkansas National Guard for almost 20 years and served in the same unit as his brother. His mother, Bobby, said her son always tried to do the right thing. “He always did his job whether he wanted to do it or not,” she said.
Miranda, 44, of Little Rock, Ark., died from a grenade attack while on foot patrol May 20 in Baghdad. He specialized in explosives. His brother, Phillip, did a different job with the same company, their mother said. Stateside, Leon Miranda worked for the Guard’s antidrug program.
Bobby Miranda said another son, 37-year-old Phillip, called her husband and her, Carlos, from Baghdad on Wednesday afternoon with the news
“(Leon) was on foot patrol in Baghdad when they were attacked,” she said. The brothers had planned to go to a movie when Leon got off duty.
The Miranda brothers were assigned to Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 153rd Infantry Regiment. The unit had been assigned directly to the 1st Calvary Division, which had been on duty in Baghdad. His brother, Phillip accompanied his brother’s body home. Miranda was buried at the Oak Grove Cemetery three miles west of Wickes.
According to his family, Miranda was promoted to Sergeant 1st Class posthumously and awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He was a commander of his unit and specialized in explosives, combat warfare, germ warfare and chemical warfare. He was deployed Oct. 13 with an advance party because of his special training.
Leon Miranda had been a member of the Army National Guard for almost 20 years, his mother said. He worked for its Counter Drug program, and for about 10 years had been assigned to work in the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division Office of Investigative Support in Little Rock, state police spokesman Bill Sadler said.
Mike Wilson recalls that, even when he was a child, it was obvious what Troy Leon Miranda wanted to be when he grew up.
“He wanted to be a soldier,” Wilson said at his cousin’s memorial service Saturday in the Wickes High School auditorium. “From the pictures you see of Leon in his uniform, there was no question that he was meant to be a soldier.”
Wilson said his cousin’s death is not what should be remembered.
“It was his life that we should remember,” he said. “Each of us seeks in his or her own way how to find in each day that which we need to do to accomplish God’s plan. The freedom to praise God was a freedom Leon lived and died for.”