Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Victor M Cota

Tucson, Arizona

May 14, 2008

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
33 Army SSgt

Special Troops Battalion, 4th Infantry Division

Fort Hood, Texas

 Died May 14 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device in Kadamiyah, Iraq, May 13.


From The Tucson Citizen tucsoncitizen.com 05/24/08:

Tucson soldier ‘Chiko’ Cota loved jokes, serving country
by Curtis Prendergast on May. 24, 2008, under Local, Nation/World, Special
Army Sgt. Victor Manuel Cota was buried at Evergreen Cemetery Friday on what would have been his 34th birthday.

Cota grew up in Tucson and graduated from Tucson High School.

He died on May 14 in Kadamiyah, Iraq, while serving in the Special Troops Battalion, 4th Infantry Division.

A dancer and joker, “Chiko” loved being a soldier. “He always wanted to be in the military. It gave him direction,” said Aarón Valencia, a friend and classmate of Cota’s at Tucson High School.

Cota joined the Army right out of high school, Valencia said.

He had already served in Bosnia and volunteered to fight in Iraq, said Julio Zanmoralo, another friend.

Cota had previously served two tours of duty in Iraq, the first in 2003-2004 and the second in 2005-2006.

Cota was part of the group that found Saddam Hussein in 2003, said Staff Sgt. Felix Cano, who served with Cota in Iraq.

“Everybody knew and loved him,” Cano said.

Cota was described by his friends as a family man who always had his lips stretched into a smile.

“He is going to be missed. We are honored to have such a friend in our lives,” Valencia said.

Cota is survived by and his wife, Maria Liliana Cota and two young children, Mireyaaime Cota Santana and Victor Manuel Cota Santana.

Army Sgt. Victor M. Cota remembered

The Associated Press

Of all the things Gilbert Moreno will miss about Victor M. Cota, what he’ll miss most is the sound of Cota’s laugh.

“He was known for his laugh. That’s how I’ll remember him: always telling jokes,” said Moreno, a longtime friend.

Cota, 33, of Tucson, Ariz., died May 14 in Baghdad, a day after his vehicle struck an explosive in Kadamiyah. He was a 1993 high school graduate and was assigned to Fort Hood.

Cota was “a man of great warmth and great passion: passion for his job and for his family,” said Maj. Gen. John M. Custer III.

“He wanted to make the world a better place with his life, and he saw being a soldier as a way to do that.”

Cota, known to his friends as Chico, loved to sing and dance and make people laugh, said boyhood friend, Aaron Valencia.

Another friend, David Camacho, said Cota didn’t care about the political aspects of the war. “He loved being a soldier. He was a very proud soldier,” Camacho said. “He tried to fulfill his commitment with honor.”

Cota leaves behind a wife, Liliana, and two children from a previous marriage, Victor Manuel, 8, and Mireya, 7. 
Victor Manuel Cota

COTA, Victor Manuel, 33, of Tucson, died May 14, 2008 while serving active duty in Iraq. He was loved and will be missed by his wife, Maria Liliana Cota; mother, Mariela Irene Cota; children, Mireyaaime Cota Santana and Victor Manuel Cota Santana and brother, Gilberto Enrique Cota. Preceded in death by his father, Victor Manuel Gallego. Mass will be offered Friday, May 23, 2008, 10:30 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church, 601 E. Ft. Lowell Rd., celebrated by Rev. Patrick Gavin. Interment to follow, with military honors, in Evergreen Cemetery. Arrangements by EVERGREEN MORTUARY & CEMETERY, N. Oracle & W. Miracle Mile.

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