Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – The Hays County Commissioners Court on Tuesday commemorated the 12th anniversary of the death of Army Pvt. First Class Kristian Menchaca, who was killed by insurgents in Iraq. He and a fellow serviceman were kidnapped, tortured, and killed when ambushed near Baghdad in June 2016. A third member of the three-person checkpoint was killed at the time of the attack. They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division.
San Marcos Army Recruiting Commander Capt. Ty Reid thanked the Court and said that although there are many ways to remember Pvt. Kristian and others who gave their lives, the best way is “in the hearts of the people.”
According to the proclamation, Pvt. Menchaca, a native of Brownsville, attended the Gary Job Corps Center in San Marcos, earning a GED certificate and completing the security officer program. He also volunteered his time and talents at a number of local events, including the Sights & Sounds of Christmas festival. He exemplified the Center’s core values of respect for others and commitment to his goals.
“Time can never diminish the profound debt that all Americans owe to Kristian Menchaca for the challenge he undertook and the immense sacrifice he rendered,” the Proclamation states. “Willing to lay down their lives in the service of their fellow citizens, the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces demonstrate exceptional courage, honor, and love of country.”
Pvt. Menchaca was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Prisoner of War medals.
Front: Gary Job Corps Corrections Cadets Joseph Bailey, Kevin Viera, Marcayla Poland, and Caleb Burrell, and Security Cadets Jessina Johnson and Deonetavon Brooks. On dais: Assistant County Veteran Services Officer Miles Nelson, Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones, Homewood Suites Director of Sales Monica Ybarra, San Marcos Army Recruiting Commander Capt. Ty Reid, Gary Job Corps Hope Center Volunteer Coordinator Irma Pardo, Gary Job Corps Center Director Patty Lankford, San Marcos resident Ruben Becerra, Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe, Gary Job Corps Major Troy Oldbury, Army Recruiting Station Commander Staff Sgt. Robert Stallings, Hays County Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Mike Jones, Gary Job Corps Captains Sean Schultz and Preston Smith, Precinct 3 Commissioner Lon Shell, Precinct 4 Commissioner Ray Whisenant, and Gary Job Corps Business Community Liaison Randolph Goodman, U.S. Navy Ret.