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

January 27th, 2010
Hundreds line streets for Peña procession

by BRAD ROLLINS
Editor and Publisher

Hundreds lined San Marcos streets on Tuesday as a motorcade carrying the body of U.S. Army Capt. Paul Peña passed through town under police escort.

Paul Pena

Visitation and a memorial service on Thursday at San Marcos Academy, where Peña graduated in 2000. The family will receive friends starting at 5 p.m. and the service, officiated by the Rev. Mark Miller, starts at 7 p.m.

The family will again receive friends at 10 a.m. Friday at St. John’s the Evangelist church, 128 S. Audubon Drive in San Antonio. Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. with Father stuart Juleen officiating followed by interment at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio.

A hearse carrying Paul Peña, followed by his mother who met the body last week at Dover Air Force Base, arrived in San Marcos on Tuesday by a motorcade that carried it from San Antonio. About a dozen police departments and sheriff’s offices escorted the body on its way to Paul Peña’s hometown where a contingent of San Marcos and New Braunfels firefighters greeted the procession with an American flag hung from ladder trucks at a interstate overpass.

During his six years at San Marcos Academy, Peña was a member of the Junior ROTC, named “best all around” by the school’s National Honor Society chapter and built a disc golf course as an Eagle Scout project. He went from there to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated in 2004, and then Infantry Officers Basic Course at Fort Benning, Ga.

While with the 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment based in Fort Richardson, Alaska, Peña led a platoon for 14 months in Iraq beginning in 2006 where he earned a Bronze Star. Other awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal with two Bronze Oak Leaf clusters.

He was deployed to Afghanistan in August. At the time of his death, Paul Peña was commander of Company A, 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. The unit was under Canadian command at the time of the fatal attack.

Calling Peña a “recognized leader,” Canadian Brig. Gen. Daniel Menard in a statment said “Peña was a quiet professional. He always had a smile on his face and was admired by his soldiers.”

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2 thoughts on “Hundreds line streets for Peña procession

  1. God bless America. Thank you to all who turned out to pay their respects to this true American Hero.

  2. God Bless America that we have men like Capt Pena, volunteering to serve our nation in war, we should always honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Along with Capt Pena’s amazing life and accomplishments he was also an Army Ranger

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