12:00 AM CDT on Friday, October 27, 2006
By MARISSA ALANIS / The Dallas Morning News
A framed picture in his parents' home shows Nathaniel Aguirre smiling proudly
after completing his last jump at the U.S. Army Airborne School two years ago at
Fort Benning, Ga.
The jump signified the end of his airborne training and the start of his
Spc. Aguirre couldn't wait to serve his country. He joined the reserves while
still in high school in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch school district and put
off plans to attend Texas A&M University so he could sign up for the Army.
"He didn't want to wait four years to go into the service," his father, Louis L.
Aguirre of Carrollton, said Thursday. "He wanted to serve."
Spc. Aguirre, 21, was working as an Army combat medic when he was killed Sunday
in Baghdad. According to the Department of Defense, he died of injuries suffered
when his patrol encountered enemy forces.
He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat
Team, 4th Infantry Division based at Fort Hood.
Relatives and friends gathered at the Aguirre family home in Carrollton this
week to grieve. Small American flags lined the sidewalk leading to the front
door. A memorial of flowers had formed around a bench in the front yard. And a
white plastic sheet with a flag border hanging near the front door read: "We
will always miss you Nathaniel."
Spc. Aguirre was born Dec. 11, 1984, in San Antonio. His family later moved to
Carrollton, where Spc. Aguirre would meet his best friend, Joseph Posenecker, at
a church gathering.
Mr. Posenecker described Spc. Aguirre as a leader and a responsible person.
"Always keeping us in line," Mr. Posenecker said of his friend. "Very outgoing
and always wanted to be kind of the best at everything."
Family members said Spc. Aguirre had an adventurous spirit. He enjoyed rock
climbing so much so that he volunteered at Stoneworks Climbing Gym in Carrollton
so he could climb for free. He later became a rock-climbing instructor at the
Spc. Aguirre also was passionate about being a Boy Scout, said his mother, Mary
"Boy Scouts presented him with structured adventures and learning along with
teaching him leadership skills, responsibility, integrity and loyalty that he
embraced with such happiness," said Ms. Aguirre, adding that he designated the
Boy Scouts as one of his life insurance beneficiaries.
He was also protective of his younger sister, Melissa, his mother said.
"Nathaniel has been her model that she's always looked up to," she said.
Spc. Aguirre had been in Iraq since December and was expected to return home at
the end of November. He wrote about his life as a soldier and experiences in
Iraq on his MySpace.com page. He called himself "Doc," a reference to his role
as a medic.
"He was telling his friends exactly what was going on out there," his father
But he didn't want his parents to see his page on the social networking Web
site. "He wanted to shield us from that," Mr. Aguirre said.
The site included a survey of the soldier's likes and dislikes. Under heroes, he
wrote: "I look up to my dad a lot because of all the things he was able to
accomplish in life."
And under "Goal You Would Like To Achieve This Year," Spc. Aguirre wrote: "Live
In addition to his immediate family, Spc. Aguirre is survived by his
grandparents Laura Garza Brito, Jose Garza and Hope Gonzalez, all of San
Antonio. Preceding Spc. Aguirre in death are his grandfather Louis Aguirre Sr.
of Dallas and stepgrandfather Fred Gonzalez of San Antonio.
Funeral arrangements are pending. Donations may be made to Boy Scouts of
America, Circle Ten Council, 8605 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, Texas 75235.
Aguirre, Nathaniel A. 91W, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade
Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. [Posthumous promotion to
Corporal]. From Carrollton, TX. Died in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries suffered when
their patrol came in contact with enemy forces.
U.S. Department of Defense - Military Health System
...The 2003 graduate of Creekview High School in
Carrollton did not know that his sacrifice for his
country would be recognized by thousands who lined the
streets of Carrollton and other cities as a motorcade
and hearse carrying his body passed by.
The large St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church on
Peters Colony Drive in Carrollton was almost filled to
capacity Thursday morning as priests offered words of
comfort to the family and as a relative eulogized the
Outside the church, soldiers, members of the Patriot
Honor Guard and Christian Motorcycle Association stood
at attention on the flag-filled lawn as the flag-draped
casket was brought out of the church and loaded into the
With members of the Carrollton Police Department in
front, the honor guard and other motorcycle riders led
the hearse and motorcade past Blalack Middle School
which is across the street from the church, over to
Creekview High School, then back down Standridge Street
to Frankford Street.
Students at Blalack, Creekview and Rainwater Elementary
School had been allowed to leave their classrooms and
align the streets as the motorcade and hearse passed by.
Not a word was spoken. The only sounds that were heard
were those of the motorcycles and an occasional brief
blast from a siren.
Students, faculty members, residents and employees of
businesses along the route stood solemnly and silently
as the motorcade and hearse passed by. Many standing by
the streets held U.S. flags of various sizes at an
angle. Many saluted and others held a hand over their
A security guard for the Carrollton-Farmers Branch
Independent School District commented, “This is quite a
civics lesson for these students.”
Aguirre had been a Boy Scout. Scouts in uniform were
seen along the route. Some were holding flags. All were
Some businesses on Frankford had lowered their huge
flags outside to half staff.
Carrollton police, firefighters with fire trucks and
other city employees assisted in traffic control as the
motorcade and hearse headed west on Frankford and then
south on I-35 toward South Texas.
The motorcade and hearse then continued its journey of
almost 300 miles south on U.S. 67 and then south on U.S.
281 toward Spring Branch, just north of San Antonio.
Guard changes were made in Hamilton and Burnet.
Another funeral service for Aguirre was held Friday
morning at the St. Joseph Church Honey Creek in Spring
Branch, near the burial site.
Aguirre is survived by his parents, Louis and Mary
Aguirre, and a sister, Melissa.
Sparkman Dickey Funeral Home was in charge of