Welcome to the iHonor American Flag remembering U.S. Army Specialist Miguel Carrasquillo
iHonor GWOT (Global War on Terror) Fallen: U.S. Army Specialist Miguel Carrasquillo of River Grove, Illinois
Specialist Miguel ("Ski" and "Skilo") Carrasquillo, age 25, served in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) Assigned to 1st Battalion, 76th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division based out of Fort Stewart, Georgia Killed in action, on August 9, 2005, when a vehicle-borne improvised explostive device (VBIED) struck his HMMWV, during combat operations in Baghdad, Iraq We honor and thank US Army Specialist Carrasquillo for defending our freedoms and fighting to liberate the lives of others.
Take a moment to pay tribute to SPC Carrasquillo by watching our short iHonor Flag dedication and Taps Ceremony video
Miguel Carrasquillo Born on June 23, 1980 in New York Miguel grew up with his single mom and siblings, Luis and Angela, in a rough neighborhood in Chicago After his mom passed away, Miguel took care of his brother and sister - insisting that they go to and finish school (Angela went on to Columbia College) Miguel loved music and made himself a talented rapper known as "Proliphic" Miguel's sister, Angela Martinez, said "He has books and books of (rap) lyrics going back to when he was 13. We struggled through childhood and he wrote about it."
Miguel dropped out of high school during his junior year, but went to earn his GED, and turned his attention to serving his country in the U.S. Army Miguel's brother, Martinez, said, "He really turned his life around. He wanted to make a living for his family and be a hero to all of us." During his 5 year military career, Miguel served as a Field Artillery Specialist (MOS: 13D) with: C Battery, 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery Regiment (unit crest on left below) 1st Battalion, 76th Field Artillery Regiment (right below)
On the fateful day of August 9, 2005, Specialist Carrasquillo and his teammates, called the "Bully Squad", were escorting VIPs from the US Embassy in Baghdad. Their convoy came under attack by ISIS fighters - driving a suicide car bomb directly at the Embassy dignitaries. Specialist Carrasquillo, a lead HMMWV (Humvee) gunner, putting others' safety before his, shot up the attacking car before it reached its intended target. His actions caused a detonation of the car bomb right next to Carrasquillo's Humvee. For his courageous actions, SPC Carrasquillo was nominated for a Distinguished Service Cross and was awarded a Silver Star - the military's 3rd hightest award for valor. [ See the citation below ] Miguel Carrasquillo was survived by his sister, Angela, brother, Luis, and Fiancee' Nicole Rosa
For a full description of SPC Carrasquillo's heroic actions that day, see 1SG Glasscock's message in 'Visitor Comments' section below.
"He cared deeply for his brother Luis and his sister Angela, always willing to place their welfare above his own" Joshua Wayne, friend of Miguel
"He was a precious young man with a heart of gold. He could rap better than half the stars out there right now." -Judi Haberkorn, friend
"We, the 6th platoon, became known as the bully squad because Ski (Miguel Carrasquillo) led the way and made sure that we were a strong, put together platoon.. though he (Miguel) was just a specialist.. i never thought of him as such.. i saw him as my leader.. someone to look up to and follow by examples." -Daniel Eunchong Park of Mt. Prospect, IL
Military Decorations for SPC Carrasquillo
[ SPC Carrasquillo's military decorations as displayed on MilitaryHallofHonor.com (unofficial) ]
Row 1: Silver Star - Bronze Star Medal - Purple Heart Row 2: Army Achievement Medal - Army Good Conduct Medal - National Defense Service Medal Row 3: Iraq Campaign Medal with Bronze Star - Global War on Terrorism Service Medal - Army Service Ribbon
Silver Star Medal Citation (Synopsis) The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Specialist Miguel Carrasquillo, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in connection with military operations against an armed hostile force while serving with the 1st Battalion, 76th Field Artillery Regiment, 3d Infantry Division, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 8 August 2005 near Baghdad, Iraq. Specialist Carrasquillo distinguished himself by identifying and firing upon a powerful vehicular improvised explosive device directed at his vehicle and convoy. His swift and decisive actions to stop the insurgent suicide bomber saved the lives of his fellow Soldiers and 21 American civilians. Specialist Carrasquillo acted with extraordinary heroism at the cost of his own life and his gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 3d Infantry Division, and the United States Army.
[ Buried at Queen of Heaven Catholic Cemetery in Hillside, IL ]
Sources for Tribute: CLICK HERE to review Specialist Carrasquillo's tribute at the Military Time's Honor the Fallen site
GO HERE to see Carrasquillo's TogetherWeServed.com page
CLICK HERE to examine the Military Hall of Honor site for SPC Miguel C.
GO HERE to read the Fallen Heroes Memorial memorial page with messages to Miguel
CLICK HERE to review the Find-a-Grave website commemoration for SPC Carrasquillo
GO HERE to see the Legacy.com obituary for SPC Carrasquillo
CLICK HERE for Iraq War Heroes tribute site for Carrasquillo
iHonor American Flag : Visitor Comments for U.S. Army Miguel Carrasquillo
reposted from Fallen Heroes Memorial website - Miguel's First Sergeant recalls Miguel's war heroics: "I was Miguel's First Sergeant. I was the last one to hold Skilo in the streets of Baghdad. He did not suffer. This is the story of how he sacrificed his life for his soldiers and the Embassy Personnel that his platoon was escorting. I will not be able to talk about specifics due to security reasons but I will tell you how brave he was that day and how he saved many VIP and his entire platoon. He was the lead gunner in the convoy escorting VIPs from the Embassy. As he was returning from the destination to the Embassy, in a crouded market circle, his driver (SPC Stevens) noticed a white sedan up on the curb, comming around the halted traffic from the left. SPC Stevens grabbed SPC Carrasquillo on the leg and said, "Possible VBIED, Nine O'clock!"(A VBIED is a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device or better known as a suicide bomber in a vehicle). The vehicle was heading behind his vehicle toward the VIPs. SPC Carrasquillo used the proper "Escallating Force Procedures" by hand signal to stop and yelling, Kief! , Warning shot in the ground in front of vehicle, then to the grill of the vehicle. By this time, the VBIED was beside the vehicle still heading at an angle collision course towards the VIP's. SPC Stevens remarked that the Suicide Driver had eye contact with them as he increased his speed. At last resort, without reguard for his own safety, Miguel opened fire on the VBIED driver, causing it to pre-detonate before it hit its target. PFC Demarcus Wilson, My old driver, was gunning in the second vehicle that day and recieved sratnal in his head. Everyone in the first two vehicles lost conciousness. The blast killed many people shopping in the market place that day. Two civilian vehicles caught fire. I approached his vehicle and asked his section chief (SGT Weeks) what the status was. He told me that he had one KIA, SPC Carrasquillo. I reached in the back passanger door and pulled him out of the vehicle. He had died instantly and that's all I'll say about that. I laid him in my lap in the street. We put him in the Ambulance and they took him to the 86th CASH. I only knew SPC Carrasquillo for two years but I got to know him very well. He sometimes got into trouble at Ft. Stewart but it was always for the right reasons. One time I went and got him out of jail in Savannah at 2:00 am. I was dreading that it would be a DUI, but it was for taking up for one of his friends and fellow soldiers in a bar room fight. Another time he had been accounted as AWOL but he was getting his brother out of trouble in Chicago. Some of the same trouble he got in before he enlisted in the Army to shape his life up and to provide for his brother and sister. At one time I was giving SPC Carrasquillo the option to get out of the Army on a General Discharge but he begged me to let him stay in. I noticed how well he did in the field. Most the time he would let his Chief sleep while he would do both their jobs. SPC Carrasquillo did an outstanding job in the initial invasion into Iraq during the first Operation Iraqi Freedom. He truly is a hero and is pending a postumous "Distinguished Service Cross" that is currently uncontested and awaiting at the Department of the Army to be authorized. My heart goes out to his sister, brother and wife-to-be (He loved getting your letters). I used to take mail to them when they were down at FOB Falcon and his face would light up when he saw a letter from her. Louis, remember what he wanted you to do and do it. He worried about you alot. Angelia (SP?) He was so proud of you. My heart also goes out to his closest friends and fellow soldiers (SPC Anderson, SPC Joiner, SPC Paige, and SPC Stevens). The basketball team will miss him. When Skilo was playing on the team, Bravo Battery won the Battalion Championship. Miguel, thank you for giving your life for your brothers. There is no greater love. Thank you for that long talk we had about you Mother. I know that you had to go take care of her but we are going to miss you here. You know I would have rather gave my own life than yours because you were like my adopted son. It hurts, but I will NEVER let anyone forget you. You live in us all. 1SG Glasscock" -Jack R. Glasscock of Kirksville, MO / USA
reposted from Fallen Heroes Memorial website - Miguel's "Top" (unit Sergeant Major?) recalls Miguel: "To Angela, Louis, Nicole and family. Miguel was on my mind this Memorial Day weekend. His heroic actions saved many lives that sandstorm day in Baghdad. Not just the Soldiers of the "Bully Patrol" but several US Embassy personnel. I know that he is on their minds and they are still talking about him today. His Silver Star (The third highest award in the Army) is well deserved. I was his First Sergeant and don't expect your forgiveness. I knew him very well and knew that he loved you three more than life itself. I retired this year with 28 years of service and will hold Miguel, closest to my heart. I marched in the 20 hour "Carry the Load" march this weekend with a 30 lbs ruck sack in Dallas, Texas, at the age of 48. I feel ashamed that I have lived this long and he died so young. People asked me, "Top, why are you punishing yourself?". I told them, "It's not about self abuse or me in general. It's about preserving the memory of my Soldiers, that laid down their lives for every Americans' freedom, mine included." I went the entire 20 hours for the four Soldiers that died that year. Miguel Carrasquillo was the last five hours. I knew that the memory of him would help me do something that I never have attempted before. His memory carried me thru. I had told Clint, the founder of Carry the Load, about SPC Carrasquillo before the march. At the 20 hour mark, He came rushing up to me and hugged me. We both cried. I carried a banner with his name and the others and was able to share with hundreds of people, of his story. He is gone but he still lives in us all!" -Top of Garland, Texas
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