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

January 20th, 2010
SMBA grad killed in Afghanistan campaign

012010penaPaul Peña. Photo provided by San Marcos Baptist Academy.

By SEAN BATURA
News Reporter

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.

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9 thoughts on “SMBA grad killed in Afghanistan campaign

  1. Thank you Capt Pena. May you rest in peace. We will continue to hold the line.

    My prayers, condolences and gratitude to the family. We are all so grateful for the sacrifices made by all of our armed forces members and their families.

    “ALL THE WAY, SIR!”

  2. Yes, rest in peace Capt. Pena, and prayers/condolences to your family and friends. I hope the city will lower flags to half-staff in your honor on the day of the funeral. And thank you to all the other members of our armed forces and their families for your sacrifices day in and day out, we owe our freedom to you!

  3. Thank you for giving the ultimate sacrifice. My prayers are with all the family and friends of CPT Pena. Rest in peace.

  4. The purpose of all war is ultimately peace. -Saint Augustine

    Rest in peace Captain Pena, we’ve got the watch. Thank you for your service sir.

  5. Two thoughts from other great thinkers:
    “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” John Stuart Mill

    and

    “War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other’s children.” Jimmy Carter

    Barbara Bush simply said “war is not nice.”

    Cecilia Pena, your son had 27 years of an admired and admirable life and probably much of these blessings thanks to you.

    Sincerely from an SMBA grad and former member of the corps of cadets, class of 1974

  6. WE AS A FAMILY AND BUISNESS STAFF WOULD LIKE TO LET THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF CAPT PENA KNOW THAT THEY WILL BE IN OUR PRAYERS AND THAT WE ALSO FEEL THE PAIN OF LOSING ONE OF OUR OWN . GOD BLESS MRS, CECILIA AND HER FAMILY AND MAY THE LORD COMFORT THEIR HEARTS IN THESE HEART BREAKING TIMES. GOD BE WITH YOU ALL .

  7. WE AS A FAMILY AND BUISNESS STAFF WOULD LIKE TO LET THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF CAPT PENA KNOW THAT THEY WILL BE IN OUR PRAYERS AND THAT WE ALSO FEEL THE PAIN OF LOSING ONE OF OUR OWN . GOD BLESS MRS, CECILIA AND HER FAMILY AND MAY THE LORD COMFORT THEIR HEARTS IN THESE HEART BREAKING TIMES. GOD BE WITH YOU ALL .

  8. We were stopped in traffic by the police escorts as the procession made its way through San Marcos today.

    It was quite moving to watch,……as it traveled by.

    I am glad that Capt. Pena is being honored thusly, and we thank him for his service, and for his ultimate sacrifice to uphold freedom for the rest of us, and our way of life.

    May we NEVER let that freedom be taken from us.

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