Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Brian A. Botello dies of injuries from I.E.D.

A U.S. Army soldier from northwest Iowa has been killed in Iraq while participating in a military crackdown aimed at stabilizing the war-torn country, the Department of Defense said today.

Pfc. Brian A. Botello, 19, of Alta, was among three soldiers who died in Baghdad on Sunday of wounds suffered when their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb during a combat patrol, military officials said.

Botello had joined the Army in July 2005, serving as a cavalry scout, and had been in Iraq since October.

Alta is a farming community of 1,865 people, northwest of Storm Lake, in Buena Vista County. Alta Mayor Tom French said Tuesday that word about the young soldier’s death had begun to spread around town on Monday and he had ordered that all flags be lowered to half staff as a sign of patriotism and respect.

“It’s a tragic event,” French said.

Botello, who was single, was the son of Karyn Brophy of Alta and Tony Botello of Muskegon, Mich. He was born in Michigan but lived most of the time with his mother in Iowa, relatives said. He was a 2005 graduate of Alta High School. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Botello’s father said he was notified of his son’s death at about midnight Sunday.

“I’m numb right now,” said the elder Botello, a Marine Corps veteran. “He
wanted to serve...He has my genes. I ‘m proud of him 1 million percent.”

He described his son as “happy-go-lucky” and “very much loved.”

The fallen soldier’s aunt said she was watching television coverage of a homecoming ceremony for a Marine Reserve unit when she got the call that her
nephew had died in Iraq.

“It was hard to see all those happy families,” said Gaynell Martinez of Grand Haven, Mich. “There will be no happy homecoming for Brian.”

The Rev. Doug Corlew, senior pastor at Summit Evangelical Free Church in Alta, where Botello had worshiped, said the young soldier will be greatly missed.

“We are very proud of Brian for his brave service to our country and his sincere desire to make his life count in the protection of our freedoms,” Corlew said in a statement.

“He was deeply loved by our church family and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Our hearts go out to Brian’s family as they mourn this great loss and trust in God’s promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ.”

Botello is the 54th person with Iowa ties to have died in the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan since March 2003.

From the Des Moines Register