National Guard statement
By Sam Atkins
Published in News on March 18, 2004 2:01 PM
The N.C. National Guard released this statement regarding the death of Spc. Jocelyn Luis Carrasquillo of Wilmington, who grew up in Goldsboro and died in Iraq on Saturday when a mine exploded:
"The Guard grieves with the family of Spc. Jocelyn Luis Carrasquillo who lost his life in service to his nation last Saturday. Mere words of condolence cannot begin to replace this faithful son, brother and soldier.
"His tragic loss has left a space in our ranks, but other patriots will stand in the gap, as he would have for them, and carry on this mission so bravely begun.
"As he did, they will now put months of intense training to use helping people who have only so recently tasted the freedom we take for granted here. Since Oct. 1, our soldiers have practiced the techniques of convoy duty, checkpoint operations, reflexive fire and search and cordon, to list some of their training.
"In the past year, Spc. Carrasquillo's unit has gone through the Army's toughest training at both the National Training Center in California and the Joint Readiness Training Center in Louisiana, the only Army unit to do so in one year's time.
"While we mourn the loss of Jocelyn Carrasquillo, we are steeled in our resolve to complete our mission. Though he has passed from this life, we know he is yet still with us -- faithfully keeping watch, close in our ranks, forever in our hearts.
"We will miss him."
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