Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Damian J Garza

Odessa, Texas

August 4, 2005

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
19 Army Pvt 1st Class

3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment

Fort Benning, Georgia

 Died in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, when their vehicle left the road and went into a river. 

DATE POSTED: AUGUST 8, 2005

Two Army Rangers die in Afghanistan

U.S. Army Special Operations Command

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, Aug. 8, 2005) — Two Georgia-based Army Rangers died in Afghanistan Aug. 4 after their vehicle slid into the Kunar River northeast of Jalalabad, Afghanistan. An investigation is ongoing.

Pfc. Damian J. Garza, 19, and Pvt. John M. Henderson Jr. 21, were assigned to 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga.

A native of Midland, Texas, Garza deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in July.

Garza enlisted in April 2004 and completed Infantry and Airborne training at Fort Benning. He was next assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment, where he served as an ammunition bearer.

Garza’s awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Award, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Parachutist Badge.

He was posthumously awarded the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal.

Garza is survived by his father Jaime Garza, his mother Denise Garza, his brother Justin and sister Jamie.

Henderson was traveling with Garza when he died in the same accident.

A native of Columbus, Ga., Henderson enlisted in the Army in December 2004 and completed Infantry and Airborne training at Fort Benning. In June 2005, Henderson was next assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment when he attended the Ranger Indoctrination Program. Upon graduation from RIP, he was assigned to 3rd Bn. in July.

Henderson’s awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon and the Parachutist Badge.

He was posthumously awarded the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

Henderson is survived by his father John Henderson, his mother Susan Henderson and his sisters, Amy and Sarah.

According to an Aug. 5 Department of Defense press release, two other Rangers escaped from the vehicle before it slid into the river. One was treated and released by U.S. military medical personnel at the scene and the other is reported to be in good condition and was expected to be released from a military hospital soon, officials said.

The Humvee was part of a larger convoy conducting operations against enemy forces, according to the release. The convoy was traveling along the river, which is swollen due to melting snow from nearby mountain peaks and rainfall in the area in recent weeks.

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