Saturday, May 05, 2007

Eddie Tamez remembered by wife

GALVESTON — Eddie Tamez was magic, a talented young man who loved to dance, entertain his family and friends with slight-of-hand card tricks and drive fast in his Cadillac.

Keyris Sanchez Tamez, 20, described her husband as the most talented and special person she knew.

“He was my hero,” she said, her voice barely distinguishable through tears.

Tamez, 21, died in Fallujah, Iraq, on Friday when an improvised explosive device detonated near the vehicle he was traveling in.

An Army spokesman would say only that Tamez’s team was on patrol at the time of the attack. He did not provide any more details about their particular assignment or what kind of vehicle they were in.

Tamez had been in Iraq only four months.

Family members said the young man dreamed of joining the Army all his life, and less than a month after graduating from Ball High School in 2004, he enlisted.

But six months later he came home for a special visit.

“He proposed to me at his mom’s house in the snow,” Keyris Tamez said, recalling the unusual winter storm that accompanied the proposal.

The couple met in high school where they danced together in a Hispanic dance troupe. Tamez was just 15 and Keyris was 14.

It was love at first sight, she said. They married while Keyris was still a senior in high school.

After completing boot camp, Tamez was stationed in Germany. Keyris said the overseas assignment gave both of them an opportunity to discover the joys of traveling.

They visited Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy, even taking their mothers with them on one trip to Paris.

Although he was following his dream of being a soldier, Keyris said she worried about her husband after his unit was sent to Iraq in January.

She spoke to him on the phone the day before he died.

Tamez spent all four years of high school in Ball High’s JROTC program. Senior Army Instructor Maj. Andre Morrison remembered Tamez as someone the teachers could always depend on.

“We knew we could count on him when we needed him,” Morrison said. “And he was pretty popular in the cadet corps and the student body.”

Morrison described the future soldier as enthusiastic, especially about the drill team.

“We would have to chase him out of the building some days after practice,” Morrison said. “He would be in there practicing new flips and tricks with the rifles.”

Tamez served as a company commander his senior year and was a member of the color guard, drill team and honor guard.

Although he obviously enjoyed the junior corps activities, Morrison said he did not remember Tamez talking about enlisting until his junior or senior year.

“He was passionate about the military,” Morrison said.

Morrison said his former cadet always made time to stop by and chat when he was home on leave.

They mostly talked about his Army training and what he was doing in the service, Morrison said.

In recognition of his dedication to JROTC, Tamez’s family has set up a scholarship fund to benefit future Ball High cadets. Donations may be made to the Eddie Tamez Scholarship Fund, c/o Hometown Bank of Galveston, 1801 45th St., Galveston.

From KHOU 11

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