San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

January 20th, 2010
San Marcos Academy grad dies in Afghanistan


A San Marcos Academy and West Point graduate was killed in Afghanistan this week when he stepped on an improvised explosive device.

Paul W. Pena

U.S. Army Capt. Paul W. Peña graduated from the academy in 2000 and went on to West Point where he graduated in 2004. He was previously deployed to Iraq and, within the last few months, was sent to Afghanistan where he died either on Monday or Tuesday, although reports are not clear on the date, said Shelley Henry, the academy’s spokesperson.

“It’s been very difficult. We haven’t lost a student in service in at least 20 years. We did have a number who died in World War II and Korea and Vietnam but it’s not something we’ve dealt with lately,” Henry said.

Peña attended San Marcos Academy starting in seventh grade and was third-in-command in the school’s Junior Reserve Office Training Corp, Henry said.

His mother, Cecilia Peña, is a teacher at Kyle Elementary School. She is en route to meet her son’s body at Dover Air Force Base, Henry said.

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4 thoughts on “San Marcos Academy grad dies in Afghanistan

  1. Thank you Capt Pena.
    Thank you for standing in the gap on our behalf.
    Thank you for your ultimate sacrifice for our great country.
    Thank you for stepping up.
    Thank you for your sense of honor and duty.
    Thank you for looking out for the men under your command.

    Thank you Pena family for raising your son into this fine, honorable MAN and LEADER. My heart cries out and aches terribly for your loss.


  2. May this American hero rest in peace. He held his head high and served with honor and dignity. His service will never be forgotten. May God hold all those who moarn close in his arms. My heart aches and my eyes weep. I am so sorry for this loss.

  3. As a veteran of the Vietnam War, I know everyone in the military is always aware that they must be willing to give their life in the defense of freedoms our wonderful country enjoys.
    Paul knew this and yet was not afraid to take the risks involved. He is a true American hero. May God bless him and his family.

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