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

Michael J Idanan

Chula Vista, California

November 19, 2005

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
21 Army Sgt

1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division

Fort Campbell, Kentucky

 Killed in Bayji, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV during combat operations.

For memorial service snapshots, click photo below.

December 2, 2005



From Mikityuk Eugene 12/06/05:

I write this in memory of my boy Michael the best soldier i have served with...
Rest in peace

Soldier remembered as a hero

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — After getting in trouble as a teenager in the San Francisco area, Michael J. Idanan decided to follow his older cousin into the military.

Idanan, 21, of Chula Vista, joined the Army and reenlisted for a second tour after his cousin left the military following a three-year stint.

Spc. Idanan died Nov. 19 when a roadside bomb exploded near his Humvee in Beiji, Iraq.

Idanan was born in the Philippines but raised in California after his mother, Nenita Manalese, looked to make a fresh start after her marriage broke up.

They settled in Daly City, but Idanan was sent to live with his uncle, Nelson Riley, near San Diego after Idanan was expelled from school for bringing Asian fighting sticks on campus.

Riley’s son, Brian, also was a difficult teenager so both were sent to a federal Job Corps training camp in Utah. The boys shared a dorm and got their high school equivalency diploma.

After coming home, however, both seemed aimless and were so messy that Riley made them live in the garage.

“I called it uncle’s boot camp,” said Riley, a Navy veteran. “I told them, ‘If you guys don’t get it together — go to college or go in the military — this will be better than the street corner you’ll be living on.”’

Brian Riley enlisted first and Idanan — who called his cousin “kuya,” which is Tagalog for “older brother” — followed a few months later.

Brian Riley said that the last time he saw his cousin was by chance. Both were assigned to separate divisions, but in 2003 were at Camp Victory, Kuwait, waiting to go into Iraq. Riley said he heard a voice from a nearby convoy yelling, “Kuya! Kuya!”

Idanan’s uncle said that he noticed positive changes in his nephew when he came home for a visit and was impressed that he had been pinned with a Meritorious Service Medal with valor.

“He got a room with a bed,” Nelson Riley said. “He was a hero when he came back.”

Idanan at the time of his death was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division at Ft. Campbell, Ky.

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