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

Orlando E Gonzalez

New Freedom, Pennsylvania

March 25, 2007

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
21 Army Pfc

5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division

Fort Bragg, North Carolina

 Killed in Baqubah, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle during combat operations.

From Connecticut News Channel 8 wtnh.com 04/05/07:
Saying goodbye to fallen Bridgeport soldier - by Jodi Latina

by News Channel 8's Jodi Latina
Posted April 5, 2007 12:56 PM

(New Haven-WTNH) _ A somber scene in Bridgeport Thursday as family and friends paid their last respects to Army Pfc. Orlando Gonzalez.

The 21-year-old Bridgeport native was killed last month in Bacuba, Iraq by a roadside bomb. 

Among those who paid their respects was Icaide Avrizar. Her son Nathan is a Marine serving in Iraq. She expressed concern for Gonzalez's mother.

"I know what happened, I watch how she's feeling," said Avrizar. "I worry about my own son."

Outside of the funeral service two friends who didn't even know Gonzalez, but who have family in the military, held an American flag. They say being at the funeral is the least they could do.

"If it ain't for them I wouldn't be here," Ray Padilla said. "To me it's very special."

Gonzalez's minister described the young soldier as an honest man who knew where he was going.

Gonzalez's father lives in Shelton and a number of close relatives still live in Bridgeport.

Gonzalez will be buried next week at Arlington National Cemetery outside of Washington, D.C.

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