The 80th Training Command names its newest facility after a fallen comrade
August 18, 2012
The 80th Training Command memorialized one of its former soldiers with a building dedication at Camp Parks Calif., August 17, 2012. The new facility known as the "SSG Robert Hernandez United States Army Reserve Logistics Training Center (TASS)," is named after an Army Reserve Soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
Soldiers and community members joined Hernandez's family during the ceremony hosted by Maj. Gen. Bill Gerety, Commander 80th Training Command.
"It is a testament to this Soldier's character, his ability and dedication to our country that he is being memorialized with a building named in his honor," Gerety said in a statement prior to the event. "He has done his part for his country; now we will do our part to memorialize Staff Sgt. Hernandez."
Hernandez died after a roadside bomb exploded near his Humvee while he was traveling in a convoy of vehicles in Taquaddum, Iraq, March 28, 2006.
Sgt. Maj. Vincent Gunter, United States Army Reserve Command Augmentation Unit, one of the last people to talk to Hernandez, said the circumstances surrounding Hernandez's death saved his life.
"I jumped into gun truck number two in Robert's seat," said Gunter. "Robert reminded me that I was in the wrong seat and that I suppose to be in gun truck number five. As the convoy returned to base, gun truck number two hit an IED on Robert's side, that's the seat I had been in that morning."
Retired Army Maj. Gen. John P. McLaren Jr., who also served with Hernandez in Iraq, said Hernandez was the embodiment of the American Soldier.
"He never wavered during times of adversity and you could always count on that big smile," McLaren said.
Hernandez was a police officer in Prince Georges County Md., and he mentored children at an elementary school. He also assisted with an effort to send care packages to hunger victims in Mozambique.
He's survived by his two sons, 17-year-old Micah and 27-year-old Xariel, who served in the U.S. Army as a patriot missile maintainer.
"Regardless of how he is immortalized through his achievements medals or plaques, it is in honor of his memory, and there is no resurrection through immortalization," Micah said.
Soldiers will train at the facility in specialties that include Human Resources, Logistics and Food Services.