Soldier Honored: Miguel Angel Baez, III
Hometown: Bonaire, GA
Branch of Service: Army
Corporal Miguel Angel Baez, III, 32, of Bonaire, Georgia, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. While serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom, CPL Baez sustained wounds when he encountered an improvised explosive device during combat operations in Muqdadiyah, Iraq on February 5, 2008. CPL Baez and two other service members were killed in the explosion.
CPL Baez was an assistant machine gunner on his first deployment after joining the Army in May 2005. He completed Infantry One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning in August 2005 and the Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, two months later. CPL Baez has wanted to be a soldier since he was a child, desiring to follow in the footsteps of several family members. He was awarded a Bronze Star with oak leaf cluster for his selfless service to his country.
A fellow paratrooper of CPL Baez said, “There are people that you meet in your life that forever change your life, Miguel was one of them.” CPL Baez was known for lighting up a room and his contagious laughter. A loving father, son and husband, CPL Baez leaves behind his wife and four children. His wife recalls, “Life was so full of excitement and adventures when we were together. Once we had a family, I knew that I was fulfilled, and nothing was going to get in the way of our happiness and future. He was my soulmate and someone I will never forget as long as I live. He was a selfless person who loved his children (all four of them), and his family was always his #1.”
CPL Baez’s wife is a Folds of Honor Scholarship recipient.