Saturday, March 17, 2007

Alberto Garcia, Jr. killed by small arms fire

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- A Bakersfield soldier has died after an improvised explosive device detonated in Iraq, according to the U.S. Department of Defense on Friday.

Pfc. Alberto Garcia, Jr., 23, died Tuesday when his unit came in contact with enemy forces using the IED and small arms fire.

According to the DOD, Garcia was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, also known as the Blue Spaders, in Schweinfurt, Germany.

Garcia's unit was responsible for assisting Iraqi police and providing infrastructure support to build economic stability and deter insurgent attacks, according to the U.S. Army.

The specific circumstances as to how Garcia died in the attack are unclear, other than that he sustained wounds from the attack and succumbed to those injuries.

ABC23 spoke with several family friends off-camera who told us the private was a very religious young man who loved his family very much.

Garcia was an active member of Valley Bible Fellowship in south Bakersfield. There's no word yet on when memorial services will be held for Garcia.

From KERO 23