RIALTO, CA, USA U.S. Army CPL, COMPANY B, 1ST BATTALION, 38TH INFANTRY, FORT LEWIS, WA BAGHDAD, IRAQ 07/01/2007
Atlanta Braves fan Victor Garcia had loved baseball since he was a kid playing in street games. When he wasn’t playing, Garcia watched the Braves on television.
“If you walked into a room and the Braves were losing, he would tell you to get out of the room,” his sister Belinda Garcia recalled as memories were shared at the July 10 burial of the Army corporal.
Garcia, who was part of a Stryker Brigade Combat Team assigned to the 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, at Fort Lewis, Wash., was killed by gunfire July 1 in Baghdad.
Hundreds showed up for the 22-year-old soldier’s funeral at Immaculate Conception Church in Monrovia, followed by burial at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Covina Hills.
“I understand he was supporting his country, but I wish he had been given the chance to have a family of his own, to live the American dream,” said childhood friend Michael Avalos of Fontana.
“Victor is not coming home like we want him to. He’s gone home to a better place, and our love for him continues,” the Reverend Carlos Ramirez said.
His mother, Socorro Garcia, said her son told her in his final telephone call that he was OK. He told her to tell his grandmother and brothers and sister that he loved them and would see them soon.
Garcia spent much of his youth in Rialto. After high school, he attended Chaffey College and then enlisted in the Army in 2004. He was deployed to Iraq in April.
“It’s going to be strange, not having him around, making us laugh all the time,” said Belinda Garcia. “I will miss everything about Victor.”
His brothers, Abel and Daniel, married their high school sweethearts at a young age. Victor knew many girls, but had no girlfriend.
“Victor just wanted to get out and see the world,” Daniel Garcia said. “Victor was the one destined to do a lot more.”
Besides his mother and brothers, Garcia is survived by his father and a sister.