Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Eddie D. Tamez dies of injuries from I.E.D.

GALVESTON — Army Spc. Eddie Daniel Tamez's family pleaded with him not to go to Iraq. They finally relented after he explained that he felt an obligation to serve his country.

"We were trying to protect him, but he said it was what he wanted to do," recalled his brother, Francisco Dunn, 31, of Houston.

Tamez died April 27, the victim of an improvised explosive device, after three months in Iraq. The family said the soldier, who had recently served a two-year tour of duty in Germany, had just re-enlisted for three more years with the Army.

The Department of Defense said the IED exploded near his vehicle "during combat operations" in Fallujah with the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, but provided no other details.

Tamez, 21, of Galveston, is survived by his wife, Keyris Sanchez Tamez, 20.

Pfc. David A. Kirkpatrick, 20, of Upland, Ind., died in the same attack.

Tamez's mother, Magdalena Tamez Dunn, 53, of Galveston, said she spoke with her son two days before his death. He reassured her he was well and told her not to worry. She told him that she loved him, and his last words to her were, "Yes mom, I love you more."

While a student at Ball High School, Tamez set his sights on a career in the military and spent four years in the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps. He enlisted in the U.S. Army a month after graduating from high school.

"When I signed the papers for them to take my son, I was crying," Tamez Dunn said. "I told him not to go."

But just as he persuaded his family that he had to go to Iraq, he persuaded his mother to allow him to enlist.

Tamez was an amateur magician who dazzled family and friends with private magic shows. He was especially adroit with cards, Dunn recalled, handling them with blinding speed.

He excelled at pool, impressing onlookers with trick shots, Dunn said. His knack for dancing led him to join a group that performed Hispanic folk dances in high school.

From the Houston Chronicle