Ian T. Sanchez–June 2011 Shipment Honoree
Army Sergeant Ian T. Sanchez from Staten Island, NY, died June 16, 2006
S.I. Man Killed in Bomb Attack in AfghanistanBy JENNIFER 8. LEE, Published: June 20, 2006
A 26-year-old Staten Island man was one of two members of the Army killed in Afghanistan on Friday when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in the Pech River Valley, the Department of Defense said yesterday.
The victims — Sgt. Ian T. Sanchez of Staten Island and Lt. Forrest P. Ewens, 25, of Washington State — were both based at Fort Drum, N.Y. They were assigned to the First Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, Third Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. Sergeant Sanchez had been in Afghanistan since January.
Sergeant Sanchez, who graduated from Ralph McKee High School, had served five years in the Army. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer; an 18-month-old son, Marcus; and a 6-year-old daughter, Jessenya, from a previous marriage.
Mr. Sanchez’s cousin, who is serving his second tour of duty in Iraq, was not able to return home for the funeral, family members said. ”Our nephew Gregory Smith is distraught that he can’t be here,” said Cheryl McLoud, 37, an aunt to both men. ”We are outraged that they are not just letting him go.”
Ms. McLoud said that part of the difficulty was that Mr. Smith, 21, was not in Mr. Sanchez’s immediate family. ”They were very close,” she said, ”closer than most cousins.”
When the two men were younger, their families lived near each other. They played at each other’s houses and took martial arts classes together. They both trained in North Carolina at the same time and sent e-mail to each other from wherever they were stationed, Ms. McLoud said.
Jessenya’s first dance recital was on Father’s Day, Ms. McCloud said. The girl’s family waited until after the recital to tell her about her father’s death.