KIA July 8, 2008
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Assigned to 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, New York
Army SSG Alex Ramon Jimenez was captured May 12, 2007 by enemy forces in Jurf es Sakhr, Iraq, when his unit was attacked by insurgents using automatic fire and explosives. After being missing for over a year, his body was recovered along with his comrade who was abducted in the same ambush, Army SPC Byron J. Fouty, on July 8, 2008. Also killed during the 2007 ambush were Army CPL Joseph J. Anzack, Jr., Army SFC James D. Connell, Jr., Army PFC Daniel W. Courneya, Army PFC Christopher E. Murphy, and Army SGT Anthony J. Schober.
Alex lived in Lawrence, Massachusetts from age 8 until 13, when he lived in the Dominican Republic with his mother. While in Lawrence, he attended the Leahy School and played baseball with the Prospect Hill Little League. He would return to Lawrence after graduating from high school in the Dominican Republic. Before enlisting in the Army Alex wrote, “Ever since I was born I’ve felt an attraction to technology, problem solving, action and adventure. I believe that in the US Army I may reach my goals, which are being all that I can be… If I ever do get recruited, I promise to fight for the innocent who can’t fight for themselves and for the USA.”
SSG Jimenez went to Iraq for the first time in 2005. Already fluent in Spanish, he quickly taught himself Arabic and became a translator for fellow soldiers who needed to communicate with the Iraqi people they had been sent there to protect. Army officials always praised his leadership and strength. Alex took pride in the Army and his responsibilities as a soldier. He once told his cousin, “Honestly, I signed the contract, and it doesn’t matter what my opinion is. I just think about the guy to my left and the guy to my right making it home. That’s all I care about.” He recognized the importance of his duties, writing that his goals in Iraq were to “make positive differences, bring peace to the innocent, and make justice my duty as a U.S. soldier.” Undoubtedly, Alex more than simply achieved his goals, he exceeded them.
SSG Alex Jimenez was 25 years old from Lawrence, Massachusetts
Original portrait was presented November 19, 2014 to his family during a special event held at the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York, NY