Monday, August 06, 2007

Eric D. Salinas dies 'of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle'

HARLINGEN — A soldier who was born and raised in Primera has been killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb, his aunt said Sunday.

Army Spc. Eric Domingo Salinas, 26, was killed Thursday while on patrol in Baghdad, his aunt, Gracie DeLeon, said in a telephone interview from Houston.

“We don’t know the details. They triggered an underground bomb … an IED,” she said, referring to an improvised explosive device.

She said Salinas was born in Primera and attended Wilson Elementary School in Harlingen. He moved to Houston with his mother when he was 9 years old, she said.

He was scheduled to return home from his tour of duty in September, three days before his birthday, his aunt said.

He leaves behind a 4-year-old son, DeLeon said.

“He wanted to fight for our country,” DeLeon said.

“He wanted to see the world, see different people and different cultures. It was something he always wanted to do.”

He loved sports, particularly soccer and basketball, and he liked to dance.

“He was the clown of the family. He was always making everybody laugh. He was always coming out with silly things to do to entertain us,” she said.

“He was a great person.”

His grandmother and other relatives still live in the Valley, she said.

She said the family expects his body to be returned to Houston. The family is planning funeral services at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Harlingen and burial at Restlawn Memorial Park in La Feria.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Rudy Garza Funeral Homes, she said.

A family counselor at Rudy Garza in La Feria said Sunday that they expect to receive the body in about two weeks.

From the Brownsville Herald