Today I am Remembering Two Fallen Heroes

Today is the 3-year anniversary of the death of two men from the 4/2 IN, 1/38th INF. Their tour started in early April. My son called them brothers and as any Blue Star mom will tell you – that makes them a very special part of your family. Please say a special prayer for these families today and remember SSG McFall and Cpl. Sanchez this Memorial Day.

From Stryker Brigade News

The 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division held another memorial ceremony for its soldiers killed in Iraq: Staff Sgt. Thomas M. McFall, Cpl. Junior Cedeno Sanchez and Cpl. William Jared Crouch.

“If my own son could harvest the leadership traits and the kindness of Tommy, and the dedication and warmth of Junior, and the professionalism and caring spirit of Jared,” said Maj. Chad Sundem, the brigade’s rear detachment commander, “I could never dare to ask for more.”

McFall, 36, of Glendora, Calif., and Cedeno Sanchez, 20, of Miami, were killed in a bombing May 28 as they walked on patrol in Baghdad. They served with the brigade’s 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment.

From Honor the Fallen:

Army Cpl. Junior Cedeno Sanchez

Died May 28, 2007 serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom

20, of Miami; assigned to 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Wash.; died May 28 in Baghdad of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his position during a dismounted patrol. Also killed was Staff Sgt. Thomas M. McFall.


Friends, family remember Miami soldier killed in Iraq

Army Pfc. Junior Cedeno Sanchez’s cousin, Joel Morel Jimenez, remembered him as a generous and loyal friend who spent hours playing video baseball games — choosing teams that would let him use Dominican legend Sammy Sosa.

Sanchez, 20, of Miami, was killed May 28 by an explosive in Baghdad. He was assigned to Fort Lewis, Wash.

Cedeno Sanchez was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to Puerto Rico and then Florida as a youngster.

He had joined the military in hopes of becoming a commercial pilot, a dream of his since age 16, said his grandmother Miguelina Cedeno.

His friend, Spc. Michael Lind, said Cedeno Sanchez was tireless in training. “He never quit,” Lind said. “He charged hills like a billy goat.”

Capt. Craig Butera said Sanchez aspired to attend Ranger school when he got back from Iraq. “Had he had the chance, we all know he would have finished Ranger school and would have been a great example of all the character that is embodied in the Rangers,” Butera said.

He also is survived by his mother, Dinora Sanchez, and father, Ramon Jimenez Cedeno.

SSG McFall,

San Bernardino Army sergeant killed in Iraq

From Honor the Fallen

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Despite having a back injury, Army Staff Sgt. Thomas McFall felt it was his duty to accompany the troops he trained to Iraq this year.

McFall, 36, of San Bernardino, was killed by a roadside bomb May 28 while on foot patrol in Baghdad. He had been stationed at Fort Lewis, Wash., where he was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment.

“He could have gotten out of it if he’d tried really hard. But they were his soldiers, they were his guys,” said his wife, Emily Herron McFall. “He’d trained them up and he couldn’t leave them hanging.”

Born in Pomona, McFall had been fascinated with the military since childhood, playing with toy soldiers and driving to the desert with his father to fire guns.

Most of his life was devoted to the military. He enlisted at 23, and met his second wife, Emily, when both were stationed at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina in 1997. During Christmas and Thanksgiving, he opened his house to soldiers who couldn’t make it home to their own families.

He had intended to serve a full career in the military and talked with his wife about what would happened if he was killed in action.

“We talked about the funeral, where he would want to be buried. He wanted bagpipes,” she said. “That was his only request.”

McFall was recently laid to rest with a Guinness beer stein and a Big Dog barbecue shirt in the Riverside National Cemetery, where his grandmother and great-aunt are buried

He is survived by his wife; children Austin, Elizabeth and Matthew; mother April Lemesh and stepfather Chuck Lemesh; and father Thomas McFall and stepmother Sherry McFall. He is also survived by siblings Kathleen Parker, Darrell Lemesh, Darrin Lemesh, Tanya Landeros, James Misenheimer and Kerri Misenheimer; and nine nieces and nephews.

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