August 11, 2013
Killed when enemy forces attacked their unit with indirect fire.
December 18, 1986 - August 11, 2013
Army Staff Sergeant Octavio, "Tavo/Tavis/Bean," Herrera was born in Nampa, Idaho at Mercy Medical Center.
He was a great man, son, husband, brother, uncle, cousin, nephew and friend. He will be truly missed by the many people whose hearts he touched.
He passed away on August 11, 2013 in the Paktia Province in Afghanistan fighting bravely alongside his Brothers In Arms.
Octavio is survived by his wife, Courtney R. Herrera of Clarksville, TN and his parents, Gerardo and Angelica Herrera, both of Caldwell, Idaho by way of Zacatecas, Mexico. His brother Sergio and his family Pricilla, Gabriel, and Caitlynn. His brother Miguel and his family Dulce, Evany, Daliah and Miguelito. He is also survived by his beloved sister and pride and joy, Claudia and her fiancée David all from Caldwell, Idaho. He will be forever missed by his nieces and nephews whom he loved dearly, Miguel, Gabriel, Evany and Daliah. He also leaves behind his in-laws Keith and Karen Zillifro, and brother-in-law Alex Zillifro who loved him very much, and of course all of his Brothers In Arms.
He also is survived by his grandma Juana Carreon and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Concepcion Herrera and Jesus Herrera.
He joined the Army in July 2007, and was stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C., where he deployed twice to Afghanistan. He arrived at Fort Campbell, KY in September 2012, and re-enlisted for five more years during his third deployment to Afghanistan in 2013. He also went on an aide mission to Haiti through the Army to assist the country after the devastating hurricane. He was selected as an honorable few who participated in the D-Day reenactment of the parachute jump into Normandy, which he always noted as one of the highlights and honors of his career.
His awards include two Army Commendation Medals, one Army Achievement Medal, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, one Army Good Conduct Medal, one National Defense Service Medal, one Afghanistan Campaign Medal (Third Campaign Phase), one Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon, one Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, one Army Service Ribbon, one Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral 2 Device, two NATO Medals, one Combat Action Badge, one Parachute Badge and one Air Assault Badge. And will be receiving the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart Medal posthumously.
The loyalty to Octavio extended far beyond people. Octavio loved and was loved by his childhood dog Princess, and his one year old lab mix Ashley. Princess was Octavio's dog for 16 years, from when he grew up on Arthur Street in Caldwell. He would call her by the nicknames "Bewuench" or "Graboid."Octavio loved playing with Princess. He would flip her around, and get in her face and make her growl at him and rile her up so she would run crazy around the house. Princess would love falling asleep with him in his bed. He talked about Princess with joy and pride in his heart. He loved that dog. When Princess passed in March of 2013 he cried as only he would for someone or something he loved. We are sure Octavio is playing with Princess right now waiting for us to join them someday. Octavio's other dog Ashley was his pride and joy from the time she was six weeks old. He referred to her as his "baby girl." When he came home after a long day at work, she'd hear his car horn in the driveway and go sit by the door with her tail wagging, waiting for him to come in. He loved to run around in the yard, play fetch, and go for long walks with her. They'd end each day with her sleeping by his feet, and then started each morning with Ashley sitting on his face till he woke up.
Our family, and his wife Courtney's family can take up a whole newspaper talking about how Octavio made us feel and everyone else feel. We could tell you all the things he was about and stood for, who he has, how he acted and many other admirable aspects of his character just for starters, but I think a message sent from his Smoke, Sergeant First Class Shane Parks to Octavio's wife Courtney soon after Octavio passed away easily shows the world what Octavio was like and what he was about. With the permission of his Brother In Arms, his following message is as follows:
"Hi Courtney, it's Smoke. I don't have to tell you how wonderful of a man your husband is. I have so much respect for Octavio. This is very hard for us, we miss him dearly. We talk about him every day and honor him. Anytime I was upset or having a bad day he could always get me to smile with sarcastic, humorous comments and quotes. Octavio did everything right and knew everything about his job and ...his Soldiers. Your husband died a hero...they found Octavio on top of another Soldier. Even till the end, your husband gave his all to protect the welfare of his Soldiers. I love Octavio with all my heart and I can feel his presence here with us now. We are here if you need us, just like your husband, you are part of the "rocpile" and always will be! rocpile haf...Smoke"
R.I.P. Octavio "Tavo/Tavis/Bean" Herrera
We feel you around us all the time.
We ALL Love you and will NEVER forget you.
Viewing for Octavio will be held Thursday, August 22, 2013 at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church, Caldwell from 5:00-8:00 PM with Rosary recited at 7:00 PM, and Funeral Mass will be held Friday, August 23, 2013 at 10:30 am at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church. Interment will follow at the Idaho State Veteran's Cemetery. Boise, ID. Services are under the care of Flahiff Funeral Chapel, Caldwell. Condolences for the family may be given at www.flahiffffuneralchapel.com.
Published in Idaho Press Tribune on Aug. 20, 2013
|From Udaho KTVB ktvb.com
Friends of fallen Caldwell soldier say he was a man to emulate
|From Idaho Press-Tribune idahopress.com
Fallen Caldwell soldier Staff Sgt. Octavio Herrera returns home
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