September 13, 2014
Received the Purple Heart in 2003 after her unit was ambushed in Mosul, Iraq.
|Staff Sergeant Virginia Caballero
ABERNATHY-Services for Staff Sergeant Virginia Caballero, 41, Abernathy, TX, native, will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, in the Abernathy High School auditorium, with Randall Carr and Rev. Joel Perez officiating.
Military graveside rites will follow in the Abernathy Cemetery under the direction of Abell Funeral Home & Flower Shop of Abernathy, TX.
Airplane Site Honors will be provided by the US Army Ft. Hood Honor Guard, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and Patriot Guard Riders.
Staff Sergeant Caballero died Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. S
he was born Oct. 25, 1972, in Abernathy, TX, to Joe G. and Maria G. (Quintero) Caballero.
She graduated Abernathy High School in 1991 and attended Texas Tech University. Her first deployment to Iraq, from Virginia, came after the events of 9/11.
She received the Purple Heart in 2003 after her unit was ambushed in Mosul, Iraq. She was attached to the 413th Reserve Unit based in Lubbock, TX, but at the time of her death she was assigned to Fort Hood, TX. She was stationed with the 452nd Combat Support Hospital Brigade out of Milwaukee, and had been stationed in Kuwait since November of 2013.
She was a volunteer for the March of Dimes and was a Church of Christ.
She was preceded in death by her maternal grandmother, Enedina Quintero; and paternal grandparents, Octavio and Maria Caballero. Staff Sergeant Caballero is survived by her parents, Joe and Mary Caballero of Abernathy, TX; a brother, Joey Caballero and companion Tiffany George, both of Lubbock, TX; two sisters, Maria Medrano and husband Danny of Lubbock, and Suzie Turner of Colorado Springs, CO, and her husband Christopher of Abilene, TX; maternal grandfather, Abel Quintero Sr. of Mission, TX; seven nieces and nephews, D. J., Ariel and Jasmine Medrano, Alexis, Amber and Ashton Turner, and Josiah Caballero; numerous aunts and uncles; and her two beloved feline children, Stormy and Stinky Caballero.
|From KCBD TV 11 NBC kcbd.com 09/21/14
Virginia Caballero comes home to Abernathy; funeral set for Monday
September 21, 2014 at 1:00 AM CDT - Updated July 11 at 12:51 AM
ABERNATHY, TX (KCBD) - It was an emotional homecoming Saturday afternoon as the body of 41-year-old Army Staff Sergeant Virginia Caballero arrived in Abernathy.
Caballero was serving her second deployment and was stationed in Kuwait. She died last Friday on the way home to surprise her family.
Virginia's body arrived back home Saturday at the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport.
Fire trucks met the plane around 2:30 p.m. and led a procession to Abell Funeral Home in Abernathy, where crowds of supporters awaited her.
Virginia was known as a charming, strong soldier who received a Purple Heart for serving in Iraq. She was shot in a vehicle ambush in 2003.
She had a reputation for being tough, but also for being gentle and kind.
"She was very friendly," said Virginia's sister, Susie Caballero-Turner, "and she loved everybody."
Virginia was just 41 years old when a blood clot reached her heart last Friday on a plane headed home. The plane made an emergency landing in Illinois, but it was too late.
Virginia's homecoming was especially tragic for Susie, who said they were basically twins, born only 11 months apart.
"I am glad that this is finally over," she said, "and we finally get her here." At least we know that she is still with us instead of not knowing when she was coming home."
Virginia's influence on others was obvious by the number of people who lined the street during her procession.
"A small town does come together," said Rodrigo Cantu, Virginia's cousin, "and being a military family, you got people from the military to people who grew up with her, and it's just great to see that."
Virginia may be gone now, but Susie said her strength lives on in others.
"Everywhere she went, she gets attention." she said. "This is Virginia. I mean, this is wonderful. They came together so wonderful - all the support that we're getting just makes it a little bit easier."
A public viewing of Virginia's body will be held from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Abell Funeral Home. Her funeral services will start 2 p.m. Monday at the Abernathy High School Auditorium.
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