Fallen Soldier: Bradley Espinoza

Bradley Espinoza
Dates: Died October 19, 2009
Hometown: Mission, TX
Branch of Service: Army
Rank: Staff Sergeant
Player: Zoe Slaughter

Army Staff Sgt. Bradley Espinoza, 26, of Mission, Texas, was assigned to the 1st Battalion 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. He died on October 19th, 2009, in Qwest, Iraq, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device; he was trying to disarm the bomb at the time of the explosion.
The Mission High School graduate entered the U.S. Army in July 2002 as a combat engineer. He had been stationed in Fort Hood since November of 2002 and was on his third tour in Iraq, serving as a bomb disposal specialist, at the time of his passing. He was the 25th soldier from the Valley area to die in the Iraq War. Bradley’s stepfather said that “he died doing what he wanted to do.”
Staff Sgt. Espinoza’s medals and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
After his passing, hundreds from the Mission community, some with t-shirts and buttons, came to honor Espinoza. Those closest to him recalled his smile, his ability to make others laugh and the love he had for his family. He and his wife, Maria, had two children- Joseph and Celeste.