Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Jorge Estrada: An American Hero

Stacy Torres, a very good friend an American hero, has taken me to task for my comment that appeared in my June 11 post. Ms. Torres is totally justified in doing so. The story itself is fair and accurate, but I left a comment that was disrespectful and hurtful. For this I cannot even begin to apologize, so I won't even try.

Let me tell you a little bit about Jorge Estrada.

Jorge was 24 years old and he had already scene more than his share of war. Several years ago, he joined the Army and served honorably with the 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan. (For those who don't know, the 10th Mountain Division is not a unit of shrinking violets, but one of America's best fighting units. They were tasked with the hunt for Osama bin Laden and they almost got him at Tora Bora.) Upon returning home from one tour, Jorge joined the California National Guard. His battalion, based in Modesto, was nicknamed the NightStalkers.

He served as an infantry rifleman and communications specialist. Among the aging Guardsmen, Jorge had the rare ability to handle both encrypted radios and computers. He was indispensable in setting up the local area network (LAN) as his fellows weren't computer savvy. He has been described by Major K as "the total package; tough, disciplined, cheerful, a good marksman...He made everyone around him better, just by example...He was the consummate quiet professional...never complained."

Julio Rivera had this to say, "I was Spc Estrada's best friend and he was the godfather of my daughter. I can't believe he is gone. He would call me often from Iraq. Distance separated us for the past two years, but we remained close friends through it all, and he will remain in my heart forever. The worst of all things, he was safer at war then at home."

"Jorge was really close with my husband and his cousin, we just learned of his death last night ( June 13). They were stationed with him up in Fort Drum, NY, " says Stacy Torres.

Specialist Estrada was married in December and he was home on emergency leave to be with his wife for the birth of her second child. His wife had an older daughter from a previous relationship with the murderer. Jorge was raising the girl as his own. He was a rare man who displayed the true character of macho. He did the right and manly thing by his wife, his children, and his country. For his kind of honor there is no medal, only crayon drawings stuck on the refridgerator doors.

But that is something that Spc/Dad Jorge Estrada will never know. At 7:40 a.m. Thursday, June 9, 2005, in the parking lot of the Camden Vineyards Apts, thousands of miles from the combat zones of Iraq and Afghanistan, Jorge Estrada's life was abruptly ended. Three bullets fired by Fabian Cayetano Urrea, 19, took the life of a finer man than I can ever hope to be.

The killer fled in a 1997 white Nissan pick-up truck with dark tinted windows, and a damaged left front bumper, bearing the California license plate number 7J26810.

Urrea is described as 5 ft. 8 in. tall, 148 lbs, brown eyes. Though his head is shaved bald, he has black hair. A $550,000 arrest warrant has been issued on one count of murder. The weapon has not been recovered; the killer is armed and dangerous.

Anyone having information on this scumbag or knows of his whereabouts, please, call 911 or the Murrieta Police Dept at (951) 696-3615.


RG said...

Great post indy. Some men think being a big man is always being right. But a real man is able to tell others when he is wrong and then make it right.

annie said...

Glad you made it right....though I don't know what happened.

Jorge Estrada does seem a hero in more ways than one. God rest his soul.

dcat said...


This was a good read. A very sad one.

On comments sometimes I really f*** up and word things the way they shouldn't.

Thanks for the story of this brave man!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Indigo for making things right... And I do forgive you.... you didn't know.
Stacy Torres

Tom C said...

We all wish for a rewind button sometimes Indi.

Tom C said...

By the way, why don't you hook up with cowboy and get the hell outa there before it seperates from the mainland?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if you heard or not, but Fabian excaped to Mexico. :(

Stacy Torres