Local News

Garner Honors Native Son Who Died In Iraq

Posted August 7, 2006

— A Wake County town said goodbye to a young Marine with big dreams who died in Iraq.

Pfc. Henry Sanchez, 21, died two weeks ago while fighting with the Marine Corps in Iraq. His Humvee ran over an explosive device in Ramadi.

Friends and family said Sanchez wanted to serve his country since he was a little boy. When he was 11 years old, they said Sanchez decided he wanted to be a Marine, but he was overweight, so he lost 152 pounds during his high school years to join the Corps.

"We always thought Henry was indestructible," said Nathan Adams, Sanchez's friend. He remembers Sanchez training with a backpack filled with bricks when they were Garner High School classmates.

"After his death, it will be the inspiration for me to go as far as I can," Adams said.

Nearly 75 friends and family members honored Sanchez during a candlelight vigil.

"When I think of Henry Sanchez," A family friend said. "I think of love because Henry loved so deeply and so fully in so many ways. He treated everyone with respect and dignity. I want to again hear Henry say, 'God bless you guys, I love you guys,' Henry I love you too."

Before Sanchez left for the Middle East, he told loved ones he fought, so they didn't have to and was willing to die to protect their freedom.

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