Andy C Morales
September 22, 2011
Died in Baghdad, Iraq.
Army Sgt. Andy C. Morales honored in dignified transfer Sept. 25
|Sgt. Andy C. Morales, 32, of Longwood, Fla., died Sept. 22 in Baghdad, Iraq. He was assigned to the 143rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Orlando, Fla. Andy was a loving dad to his daughter, Nyobi , for a year and 5 months and for 9 beautiful days was smitten in love with his first born daughter, Naira. During that time he never once let go of her and never left her side. Andy was a wonderful brother, uncle, son, and friend to all. He was a loving husband who brought joy and laughter to his wife Mariela. Andy is survived by his daughter, Nyobi Gonzalez, his daughter, Naira V. Caraballo-Morales, his wife, Mariela Caraballo-Morales, his brother, Robert Caraballo-Morales and his three sisters, Glorian Caraballo-Morales, Mercian Lesser, and Jeannie Harris.|
|From The Orlando Sentinel orlandosentinel.com 10/03/11:
Longwood soldier who died in Iraq laid to rest
October 3, 2011|By Arelis R. Hernández, Orlando Sentinel
The body of U.S. Army Sgt. Andy C. Morales was buried today after a funeral service at River of Life Church in Oviedo.
Morales was killed in Iraq Sept. 22, the 2-month-anniversary of the birth of his daughter.
The 32-year-old soldier, who was killed in Baghdad, was assigned to the 143rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) of Orlando and was serving in Operation New Dawn, according to the Department of Defense.
When Army officials delivered the news to his wife, Mariela Caraballo-Morales, she could hardly believe it, said sister-in-law Mercian Lesser said from her Sarasota home.
Just five months before, the best friends were married in a celebration that brought together a family that had seen its share of hardships. The young soldier spent just nine days with his newborn, Naiara Morales, before he was deployed, his wife said.
Morales was the second of five children born to a single mother from Puerto Rico who struggled to keep her family safe and secure in Brooklyn, N.Y., family members said.
The close-knit siblings — each born just a year apart — celebrated all their November birthdays together in one party more out of necessity than novelty. Their tightness kept each other out of trouble in the inner city despite the enormous obstacles they faced as a family, they said.
'We were always la familia," she said. "We had to stick together."
Sgt. Morales was the warrior of the clan, always fighting to protect his family and work toward their collective success, his brother and sisters said.
"We were always just skating by," Lesser said. "He always felt the need to fight for us."
He was also the family comic, transforming the most heartbreaking occasions into laughing marathons.
"Andy didn't believe in being angry. He hated it when people were angry with him," said older brother Robert Morales. "He loved seeing people smile, and that's probably the one thing I'm going to miss the most — his smile."
Morales recalled a time when his brother took off his shoes and walked home barefoot with a friend who had had his shoes stolen. "That's the kind of person Andy was," he said.
Younger sister Glorian Morales said her brother was not only her dance partner and a cheating board games opponent, but he also was the father figure of the dad she never had. He was everything to his little sisters, twins Mercian and Glorian, and the youngest Jeannie.
"I am angry at the world, at the military, at myself. I'm angry at the things we had to live through and the constant struggle we faced," she said. "Even though he's gone, we all have a part of him that comes out in us. Sometimes it's his funny jokes or his temper … He's a hero and an awesome brother."
Morales joined the Marines in 2002 but left as a sergeant after four years of active duty at bases in Japan and California.
The family drifted apart as they lived their lives separately in other states, but Sgt. Morales' near-fatal car accident in North Carolina in 2009 helped draw them back together, family said.
Through all of Morales' carefree adventures in life, his relationship with then-friend and now wife Mariela was constant. They kept in touch throughout the years and made their union official when he relocated to Central Florida where she lived.
After his wife became pregnant and several unsuccessful attempts to find work, he rejoined the military — this time with the Army in October 2010. They married April 25 during a small, intimate ceremony.
When his daughter was born, Andy Morales' world changed and he was determined to take care of her and his wife's 11-year-old daughter, Nyobi, said Robert Morales.
On the day he deployed, Glorian Morales said her brother promised to come back. In turn, she made a promise to take care of his family if anything happened.
She has vowed to keep her end of the bargain even if Sgt. Morales didn't, she said.
The family was told the 32-year-old soldier was on a mission when he was shot and killed, but the incident is under investigation, they said.
"Last thing he said was he couldn't wait to see his children," his wife, Mariela, said. "Let the world know he died for his children."
|From Banjo Commander blogspot.com 09/26/11:
In Memory of Sergeant Andy C. Morales
Sergeant Andy C. Morales
196th Transportation Company
275th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion
November 2, 1978 - September 22, 2011
Today my Battalion gathered for a memorial service to honor one of our own. SGT Andy Morales, a truck commander from the 196th "Blue Devils" died at Camp Liberty, Baghdad on September 22, 2011. He was a prior-service Marine and a dedicated Army NCO who lived the Army Values. He is survived by his wife and children. It was my honor and privilege to serve as his Battalion Commander. These are the words I shared at the memorial today as we held final roll call for one of our Warriors.
"Today we gather to honor the life and service of one of our own - SGT Andy
Morales. In preparing my remarks, I was gripped by a lot of emotions. I felt
shock that such a bright and energetic young man could pass from us this
quickly. I felt sadness. Sadness for his friends, sadness for his section
and most importantly, sadness for his wife, his children and his mother.
What I want to talk about, what I want to tell SGT Morales's family, his
friends, and his unit-is Thank you. Thank you for serving. Thank you for
serving your nation and your countrymen. Thank you for serving the Soldiers
and Transporters of the 196th "Blue Devils".
Last week the newspaper carried a little reported statistic. It said that
95% of Americans under the age of 65 have never served in the Armed Forces,
in any capacity.95%. That makes SGT Morales extremely special in my book.
That fact makes all of you special. He served and you serve so the country
can sleep-safely, peacefully. Thank you SGT Morales.
In May of 1962, General Douglas MacArthur delivered his last speech-this one
to the Corps of Cadets at West Point. Now the speech is superb in its
entirety - in my opinion one of the greatest speeches ever made - and is
most famous for its theme, "Duty, Honor, Country." I'm partial, however to
an often overlooked portion of the speech, near the end, in which the old
soldier talks to the importance of our calling, of SGT Morales's chosen
"And through all this welter of change and development, your mission remains
fixed, determined, inviolable-it is to win our wars. Everything else in your
professional career is but corollary to this vital dedication. All other
public purposes, all other public projects, all other public needs, great or
small, will find others for their accomplishments, but you are the ones who
are trained to fight, yours is the profession of arms-the will to win the
sure knowledge that in war there is no substitute for victory, that if you
lose, the nation will be destroyed.
This does not mean that you are war mongers. On the contrary, the soldier,
above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the
deepest wounds and scars of war."
Thank you SGT Morales, for your 9 and a half years of service to this great
The military is a family. Its bloodline is as old and honorable as
the republic itself. Its ancestors are its heroes. Recruits are told that to
wear the uniform is to inherit this great lineage. In every sense, it is a
brotherhood bought in blood, and surrounded by the greatest mystery of
all-why men fight. For under fire, men are not moved by the call of country
or the rhetoric of a cause. They fight for their comrades. This was the real
lesson of Yorktown, Gettysburg, Bastogne, Pusan, Ia Drang, and every other
battle our Nation has fought on every corner of the globe. Soldiers shared
rations, slept under the same wet ponchos, marched for months at each
other's side, or convoyed for countless hours on hot and dusty roads wrought
with Improvised Explosive Devices. Soldiers stand together as a team to face
these adversities without complaint. Under the harsh realities of combat it
does not take long for strangers to turn into comrades or for two men,
finding in one another a vein of humor or decency or raw courage-some moral
hand hold, to steady themselves on the uncertain field of battle.
Thank you SGT Morales. You are both a Marine and an Army NCO who not
only served your country, you served and tended to your fellow Marines and
Soldiers, your comrades-so we can carry out the nation's business. You
willingly chose the vocation of taking care of Soldiers - the profession of
arms. Thank you.
I'd saved this quote years ago, author unknown. I think it was from
an e-mail. One of those short verses passed around-more often by Soldier's
wives-which tells each other why we do it and "is it worth it?" A small bit
of thanks and subtle heroism. Likewise it also captures the sacrifice and
the unselfishness in our calling. It reads as follows:
"It is the Soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the
It is the Soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to
It is the Soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and
whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the
It is the Soldier. It has always been the Soldier."
SGT Andy Morales - Soldier and Marine. Semper Fidelis! Mission First,
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