Paul Peña. Photo provided by San Marcos Baptist Academy.
By SEAN BATURA
A soldier from San Marcos lost his life this week in Afghanistan.
U.S Army Captain Paul Peña, 27, was killed by an improvised explosive device as he travelled in the American Sector of Afghanistan.
Peña participated in the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program at San Marcos Baptist Academy (SMBA), where he graduated in 2000 before entering the United States Military Academy at West Point. Pena graduated from West Point in 2004.
Peña was on active duty ever since then, and was deployed to Iraq during 2006 and 2007. Peña deployed to Afghanistan to command a unit sometime after the summer of 2009.
San Marcos Baptist Academy public affairs officer Shelley Henry said Peña died on Monday or Tuesday. Peña’s funeral has not yet been arranged.
“We think it will end up being about the middle of next week,” Henry said.
Henry said the deceased soldier is survived only by his mother Cecilia Peña, who is en route to her son’s body at Dover Air Force Base. Henry said Peña was an Eagle Scout and a member of the National Honors Society.
“In his class, he was voted most likely to succeed,” Henry said. “He was the kind of kid who everybody liked, and will certainly be missed.”
Hays CISD public information officer Julie Jerome said Peña’s mother is a long-time music teacher at Kyle Elementary School.
According to the U.S Defense Department, 953 U.S. soldiers have been killed in connection with the ongoing military operation in Afghanistan as of Jan. 20. Of those killed, 686 died in action, and 267 lost their lives in accidents, friendly fire incidents, and other circumstances.
As of Jan. 20, 4,829 U.S. military have been wounded in action in operations related to the Afghanistan campaign.
The Defense Department said deaths of U.S. soldiers in Iraq include 3,469 killed in action and 895 in non-hostile circumstances. As of Jan. 20, 31,633 U.S. soldiers have been wounded in the Iraq campaign.Email | Print