Saturday, October 30, 2004

Schofield soldier dies
after bombing

Cpl. Billy Gomez was in a vehicle
that hit a bomb in Afghanistan

A seventh Schofield Barracks soldier died last Saturday from injuries he received when his vehicle struck a homemade bomb in Afghanistan.

Schofield Barracks soldier Cpl. Billy Gomez, 25, of Perris, Calif., died last Saturday from a bomb in Afghanistan.

Cpl. Billy Gomez, 25, of Perris, Calif., was wounded Oct. 20 in Naka and was taken to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

He was assigned to Headquarters & Headquarters Company of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, known as the Wolfhounds. Gomez, a medic, enlisted in August 1997 and was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division in July 2001.

A private prayer service will be held at the Schofield Barracks main chapel on Monday.

Gomez's injuries occurred just a week after two other Schofield Barracks soldiers -- Staff Sgt. Brian S. Hobbs, 31, of Mesa, Ariz.; and Spc. Kyle Kaeo Fernandez, 26, of Waipahu -- were killed Oct. 14 in Afghanistan when the Humvee they were in struck an improvised explosive device.

Also killed in Naka on Sept. 20 was Spc. Wesley R. Wells, 21, of Libertyville, Ill. Wells was manning an observation post when it was fired upon by anti-coalition militia forces.

Wells also was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment.

Hobbs and Fernandez were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry (Bobcats) in Afghanistan.

Gomez's death raised the death toll to 26 soldiers, Marines and civilians with Hawaii ties since the war began on March 19, 2003.

Of that number, 17 soldiers and one civilian have been killed in Iraq. Of those 18 deaths, 16 were due to hostile action.

Nine of the 17 soldiers killed in Iraq were from the 25th Infantry Division. Seven other 25th Division soldiers were killed in Afghanistan. One soldier from Hawaii was killed in Kuwait.



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