SGT Juan Carlos Cabral-Banuelos

Company A 4th FSB

4th Infantry Division (Mechanized)

Killed in Action January 31, 2004



SGT Cabral-Banuelos was a member of Company A 4th Forward Support Battalion attached to 1-22 Infantry.

Killed when his vehicle was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device, while on convoy operations near Kirkuk, Iraq.
His home town was listed as Emporia, Kansas.


CPL Juan Cabral receives the Purple Heart Medal
for wounds received in action July 2003


SGT Juan Carlos Cabral-Banuelos' decorations



Juan Cabral with his sons

Photo from the Deseret News



Emporia High grad killed in Iraq blast
The Associated Press

Tuesday, February 3, 2004

Topeka — A 25-year-old who graduated from Emporia High School was among three soldiers who died in a weekend explosion in Iraq,
the Defense Department said Monday.

The department identified the dead as Cpl. Juan Carlos Cabral Banuelos, of Emporia; Sgt. Eliu Miersandoval, 27, of San Clemente, Calif.,
and Pfc. Holly McGeogh, 19, of Taylor, Mich.

(Editor's note: Cpl Cabral was posthumously promoted to SGT)

The department said the soldiers died Saturday when an explosive device hit their vehicle. They were in a convoy near Kirkuk.

The Defense Department said the three were assigned to Company A, 4th Forward Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, from Fort Hood, Texas.

Cabral's cousin, Marisol Gomez, said her cousin was a native of Geres, Mexico. She said her cousin spent most of his childhood in Riverdale, Utah, and moved to Emporia with his family as a teenager.

She said her cousin was a popular student in high school who dreamed of enlisting in the Army after graduation.
He became an Army mechanic and was stationed in Fort Hood, Texas, before he was deployed to Iraq.

"When he was in high school that was one of his goals, to finish high school and graduate and go to the Army when he graduated," Gomez said.
"He said he liked it there (in the Army). It was difficult, but he liked it."

Gomez said he would be buried in Utah, where most of his family lives.

She said the soldier's death was extremely painful because in just a few weeks he would have been reunited with his wife and two young children.

Cabral's wife, Anita Cabral, 24, told the Standard-Examiner newspaper her husband was supposed to be coming home in 40 days.
"Nobody is ever going to forget him. We all love him," she told the Ogden newspaper from Texas.
The two were high school sweethearts who attended Ogden High School together and met at a young age.
"I've known him since I was 5 years old," Anita Cabral said.
The pair married in September 1998, a few months after Cabral enlisted.

"He was proud of his boys, proud of his family. ... I'm going to go back to Utah and raise my boys like he wanted me to," Anita Cabral said.
The boys are 7 years and 18 months old.





Published Tuesday, February 03, 2004

GI died for his adopted land
Latino corporal, slain in Iraq action, looked forward to citizenship

By Rhina Guidos and Dawn House
The Salt Lake Tribune

In Washington Terrace, the family of a Utah soldier recalled Monday the life of Cpl. Juan Carlos Cabral Banuelos,
who died over the weekend in an explosion in Iraq.

Cabral, 25, a Mexican national, was to become a U.S. citizen this spring. He was among three soldiers killed when their vehicle struck a homemade
explosive device near the northern city of Kirkuk, a spokesman for Fort Hood, Texas, said on Monday.

Just last year, a grenade hit a building where Cabral was making a phone call from Iraq, his father Angel Cabral of Washington Terrace said.

"He told me it wasn't a serious injury," said Angel Cabral. "But we always worried. How could we not? We saw on television the danger he faced."

The older Cabral last spoke on the phone with his son in October when the young man had a 15-day leave in Texas to visit his wife, Anita, and two sons,
ages 7 and 1. The soldier tried but couldn't travel to Utah, which he considered home.

"He was really happy, he had seen his baby take his first steps," said his younger brother, Josť Cabral, of Brigham City.

Cabral, who was born in Zacatecas, Mexico, enlisted in 1996 and had been at Fort Hood since 1999. Although he was stationed for a time in Emporia, Kan.,
he listed his home state as Utah. He was a citizen of Mexico and a legal resident of the United States. In April, he was supposed to become
a U.S. citizen, his brother said.

"He was supposed to be there [in Iraq] 40 more days or so and then he talked about coming home to fix up his 1963 Impala," Josť said.

Cabral lived in Ogden from the time he was 1 until he was 16. He attended Ogden High School and served as an altar boy
at St. Joseph Church, said Josť Cabral.

"He loved God and he thought of the church as his home," Josť Cabral said.

He graduated from high school in Kansas, where he was living with his mother, who also now lives in Utah.

"He wanted to see the world and he wanted to work on cars," Josť Cabral said.

He saw the Army as a means to pursue both interests. The Army took him to Germany, among other places, and trained him as a light-truck mechanic.

The other soldiers killed in the roadside attack were also light-truck mechanics assigned to Company A, 4th Forward Support Battalion.

They were identified by the Defense Department as Sgt. Eliu Miersandoval, 27, of San Clemente, Calif., and Pfc. Holly McGeogh, 19, of Taylor, Mich.
Their vehicle hit the improvised mine while traveling in a convoy about 27 miles south of Kirkuk.

They are among 116 coalition soldiers killed from roadside bombs since President Bush announced in May that major combat operations were over.

Another 1,179 coalition forces have been wounded in the roadside attacks, according to U.S. military officials in Baghdad.

Cabral's death brings to seven the number of soldiers from Utah or with strong ties to the state killed since the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

In addition, five soldiers from the Utah National Guard have been wounded by roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Pallbearers carry Sgt. Juan Carlos Cabral's casket from Ogden's St. Joseph's Catholic Church.



Soldier recalled with love

By Larry Weist
Deseret Morning News

      OGDEN — Utah's fifth serviceman killed in Iraq was remembered Wednesday for his love of family, friends, country and the U.S. Army.

      Sgt. Juan Carlos Cabral, who died with two other soldiers on Jan. 31 when their vehicle struck an explosive device near the city of Kirkuk,
was buried in Washington Heights Memorial Park, South Ogden, following a funeral Mass in St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Ogden.
      The Rev. Hernando Diaz, pastor of St. Joseph's, asked the more than 100 people in the congregation to pray for Cabral, who attended St. Joseph's
as a youngster. The Rev. Diaz said that while it is hard to see someone die, "one day we shall be with him again in the love of Christ, which destroys death."

Cabral leaves a widow, Anita, who was his childhood sweetheart, and two sons. He grew up in Ogden but graduated from an Emporia, Kan.,
high school while living there with his mother. He went immediately into the Army, where he was a mechanic with the 4th Infantry Division's
4th Forward Support Battalion.

The Rev. Diaz asked the congregation to pray on behalf of Cabral that God will have mercy on him and carry him home to heaven because
he put his faith in God. "Death is the final stage of our existence (here), but it is not our final destination, it is a vehicle," he said.
      Everyone dies in different ways and under different circumstances, he said. "We as believers, as Christians, as Catholics, believe in eternal life
no matter at what age we die. Don't let your hearts be troubled. Our faith gives us meaning to existence and meaning to dying."
      The Rev. Diaz reminded the congregation that many people die all over the world each day from war, violence and starvation, and in prayer
he made supplication to God to accept them into his presence. "Now our brother Juan Carlos is in the hands of God. We come together today
to say goodbye and to pray to the good Lord for his salvation.

      "Let us give thanks to Juan Carlos for his dedication to work and to his love for his family and friends."
      Several members of the congregation wore T-shirts with Cabral's picture and dates of birth and death on them as well as the phrase,
"In Loving Memory of 'Carlitos.' "
      At the burial, the Rev. Diaz blessed the gravesite and asked that Cabral's soul rest in peace until the Resurrection.
      A honor guard with seven soldiers firing the traditional 21-gun salute and an Air Force sergeant playing "Taps" provided a military burial
in the chilly but sunny weather.

During the ceremony, Cabral was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart for wounds, a certificate of citizenship, and the Bronze Star for
meritorious service in Iraq, "in keeping with the highest traditions of the 4th Infantry Division and the United States Army."
      Maj. Gen. Kevin Campbell, chief of staff, U.S. Strategic Forces Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., presented the awards to Cabral's widow
along with. He also presented folded American flags to her and the soldier's parents.
      Campbell flew to Utah to represent the secretary of the Army.

After the burial, Veronica Ortiz, sister of Cabral's widow, spoke briefly about Cabral, saying he loved his family dearly and loved serving in the Army.
The military was a big part of his life and he saw it as a stepping stone to someday opening his own auto repair shop, she said.
      Cabral, who was born in Mexico in 1978, came to Utah when he was 1 year old and worked hard to obtain his citizenship, she said.
"Being a citizen was very important to him."


Anita Cabral, wife of Sgt. Juan Carlos Cabral, wipes the tears of one of their sons, Fabian, 7,
during Cabral's interment in south Ogden. Cabral's mother, Angela Cabral, right, also comforts Fabian.
Laura Seitz, Deseret Morning News





Birth: Sep. 11, 1978
Zacatecas, Mexico
Death: Jan. 30, 2004, Iraq

Army Sgt Cabral-Banuelos was assigned to Company A, 4th Forward Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Division (Mech), Fort Hood, Texas.
Banuelos was killed when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device in Kirkuk. Juan was born in Jerez, Zacatecas, Mexico and moved to Ogden
with his family a year later. He attended Ogden High School before moving to Emporia, Kansas with his mother during his junior year after his parents divorced.
He was a popular student who dreamed of enlisting in the Army after graduation. He graduated from high school in Emporia and soon after joined the Army
to improve his life and himself. Juan always encouraged his family to do more in their lives and said if they really wanted to do something, if they put their head into it,
they could do it because he did it. One thing he loved doing was to tinker, especially on his 1963 Chevrolet Impala Super Sport. That love of cars helped
make him a light truck mechanic in the military. During a visit with his family last fall, he talked about his pride in serving his country. He told them, "Don't worry,
I'll be OK. You guys always have to remember that I'm doing something I wanted to do. I'm serving my country, and I'm proud of it." He had been in Iraq since
April 4 and there were important things coming in Juan's life. He was due to return home in about a month and he was also set to become a U.S. citizen in April.
Instead, he will be posthumously awarded a Bronze Star, a second Purple Heart and a promotion to sergeant at his burial ceremony. He leaves behind a wife,
Anita, and two young sons, ages 7 and 18 months old. Juan was a fun loving, outgoing man. He was a very happy person – always smiling, making funny faces,
sticking out his tongue and doing something to make everyone laugh. Where he was, everybody was happy.

Lindquists Washington Heights Memorial Park
Weber County
Utah, USA
Plot: Garden Of Devotion, Section 298-C Space 1

Created by: Brenda N
Record added: Feb 12, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 17907962

Grave marker for SGT Juan Carlos Cabral


Photo by: Jason O'Driscoll

Find A Grave website










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