Sgt. 1st Class Gary J. Vasquez, 33, was killed Sept. 29 while conducting a combat reconnaissance patrol in the vicinity of Yakhchal, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in support of combat operations while serving with Company B, 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne).
He deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in May 2008 as a member of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan. This was his third deployment in support of the Global War on Terror and third deployment to Afghanistan. He was a Special Forces Operational DetachmentAlpha senior engineer sergeant.
Vasquez, a native of Round Lake, Ill., volunteered for military service and entered the Army in Jan. 2000 as a cavalry scout. After basic and advanced individual training at Fort Knox, Ky., he was assigned to Troop. A, 1st Bn., 17th Cavalry Regiment (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C. He began the Special Forces Qualification Course 2002 and he earned the coveted “Green Beret” in 2004 and was assigned to 1st Bn., 7th SFG(A) at Fort Bragg, N.C., as a Special Forces engineer sergeant.
Vasquez’s military education includes; the Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Course, Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course, Air Movement Course, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course, Basic Airborne Course, Warrior Leaders Course, Ranger Course and Special Forces Qualification Course.
His awards and decorations include three Bronze Star Medals, Purple Heart Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, two Army Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Ranger Tab and the Special Forces Tab. Vasquez is survived by his wife, Sarah, of Raeford, N.C.; mother, Margaret Du Hasek, and brother, Barry Du Hasek, both of Highland, Ill.
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