Based: Ft. Richardson, Alaska
725th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: May 17, 2007
Married, 2 children
High School: Tinian High School (U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands)
Burial: San Joaquin Catholic Cemetery, Stockton
The Army private first class breezed through basic training and passed airborne instruction before being deployed last fall to Iraq, where he served as a motor transport operator.Read the entire LA Times article about Army Specialist Victor M. Fontanilla here. Find more at Military Times and visit Specialist Victor Mykal Fontanilla's Guest Book.
Fontanilla kept in close touch with his family, adding pictures and tributes to his wife and son on his MySpace.com page.
He had planned to return home June 4 on leave midway through his 15-month deployment. He wanted to be with his wife for the birth of their second son, Jonathan-Tobias Ho'Opakele Fontanilla.
He never made it.
On May 17, Fontanilla was among three paratroopers killed when a roadside bomb exploded near their Humvee in Iskandariya, south of Baghdad, according to the Department of Defense. Also killed were Sgt. 1st Class Jesse B. Albrecht, 31, of Hager CIty, Wisconsin and Spc. Coty J. Phelps, 20, of Kingman, Arizona
Having grown up without much involvement from his own father, Fontanilla made sure to play an important role in his son's life.
That's how his aunt, Lysia Espinosa, remembers it. She continues to speak about her nephew in the present tense as if he is still alive.
"He loves his son more than anything," said Espinosa, 41, who helped raise Fontanilla. "He always tells his son that he doesn't want him growing up without a father."
Fontanilla spent his childhood in Stockton. He left while in high school to be with his mother, who was living on the island of Tinian, part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, about 1,000 miles east of the Philippines.
Fontanilla was of Filipino ancestry; his wife came from a Hawaiian family. The couple were married in October 2004. Their first son was born the following May, and Noel Fontanilla is awaiting the imminent arrival of their second son.
In the aftermath of his death, the Army posthumously promoted Fontanilla to Specialist.
In addition to his wife, son, and brother, Fontanilla is survived by his father, mother, stepfather and two sisters.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Jesse B. Albrecht -- Rest In Peace
Army Spc. Coty J. Phelps -- Rest In Peace