On the same day that the 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division held a memorial for three soldiers who died in combat earlier this year, Fort Bliss announced the death of another solider from that Team.

20 year old Private Jalfred Vaquerano died on Tuesday in a military hospital in Germany of injuries he sustained during a firefight in eastern Afghanistan.  He is survived by his fiancee, Katie Madden, and his family in Florida.  He and Katie were engaged to be married next August.

On her Facebook page, Katie wrote, "I cannot figure out why this happened to him.  He was planning on getting baptized when he came back.  We were just about to start our lives."  She also made a youtube video that she had sent Private Vaquerano.  She isn't sure he saw it before he died.

As anyone with a loved one in the military knows, there is no such thing as fair or normal.  We don't live in a fair or normal world, and our troops see that in graphic detail every day they serve.  For those of us lucky enough to have our troops home, thank God for that gift every day.

For those who had to face the devastation of losing a son, daughter, brother, sister, friend, to combat, our deepest sympathies and most earnest prayers go out to you.  We know that freedom is not free, but we don't have to live with the stark reality of that statement every moment of every day.

Thank you to all our servicemen and women and their families for the sacrifices they make everyday to keep our country safe.