Based: Ft. Hood, Texas
15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: September 7, 2007
Brooke Army Medical Center, Texas, USA
Hometown: El Monte
High School: Mountain View High (El Monte)
Burial: Port Hudson National Cemetery, La.
Marisol Heredia had a reputation as a strong-willed, perceptive young woman who, in the words of her older sister Claudia Billiot, "if she wanted to do something, was going to do it, no matter who said no."Read the entire LA Times article about Army Specialist Marisol Heredia here and read the San Gabriel Valley Tribune article here.
It was that single-mindedness -- to serve, to experience other parts of the world -- that led Heredia to follow her sister into the Army after high school. Heredia was assigned to the 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Ft. Hood, Texas.
In war-torn Baghdad, Heredia, who held the rank of Specialist 4, was badly burned in an accident July 18. According to family members, the accident occurred while she was fueling a generator. The incident is under investigation.
Heredia, whose bodily defenses were seriously compromised because of the extent of her burns, was transferred to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. There, with typical determination, she fought her way through a potentially fatal bout of pneumonia.
Billiot, who recently had been discharged from the Army, was at her sister's bedside day and night, "making her laugh, making her smile, reading to her" from cards and letters sent by well-wishing strangers.
Early this month, however, an infection took hold. It dragged Heredia rapidly downhill and, to the devastation of her family and friends, took her life Sept. 7. She was 19.
"Nobody expected it," Billiot said. "Nobody was ready for it. She'd shown so much strength fighting the pneumonia."
In addition to Billiot and her husband, Shane, of Baton Rouge, La., and Carolina Heredia of El Monte, Heredia is survived by her mother, Rosa Heredia, stepfather, Jose Dominguez, and sister Azucena Dominguez, all of El Monte. She was the fiancee of Travis Beaumont, a soldier she served with in Iraq.
Army Specialist Marisol Heredia previously remembered at Boom3 on Tuesday, September 7, 2010.
Born to War: Paintings in honor of the American women killed under military assignment to Iraq and Afghanistan. 2003-present