A Fort Bragg paratrooper who was killed Saturday in Afghanistan joined the Army in part to support his 7-year-old daughter, who has Down syndrome, said his mother, Shelley Tucker.
Sgt. Gabriel Guzman, 25, planned to move with his sister and her family to San Francisco to be closer to his daughter, Angela Haley, when he got home from Afghanistan.
Guzman's unit was on patrol Saturday near Pakistan when a bomb exploded. He died at a nearby U.S. base. Members of C Company remembered Guzman as selfless. On foot patrol in the Afghan mountains last year, Guzman gave another soldier his last swallow of water knowing there were still miles to trudge, 1st Sgt. Derek Gondek said in a news release.
Instead of riding down that Afghan road Saturday, Guzman should have been out of the Army, his mother said. Not long after he arrived in Afghanistan, the Army added three months to his unit's tour. His enlistment ended in July, but because he was already deployed, the Army wouldn't release him, she said.
Never miss a local story.
"He was really looking forward to coming home," she said.