Staff Report
TheRecordLive

Army Sgt. Carlos A. Benitez, 24, of Carrollton died Thursday from wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device between Moqur and Darreh-Ye-Bum.

Benitez was married and had a 6-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, Castillo said. He also had two siblings. Benitez served two tours in Iraq before being sent for a third in Afghanistan.

“It’s like a part of me left,” Imelda Castillo told the Dallas Morning News of her feelings when arriving home to receive the news of her son’s death from the military official.

Castillo said that her son, a graduate of Creekview High School, was dedicated to the Army. She the newspaper that he wanted to enlist when he was 17 but that she refused to sign paperwork allowing him to do so. He joined when he was 18.

“It’s what he wanted, to be in the Army,” Castillo said.

Also killed were Spc. Rafael Martinez Jr., 36, of Spring Valley, Calif., and Pfc. Tramaine J. Billingsley, 20, of Portsmouth, Va.

All three soldiers were assigned to the 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colo.

Castillo said that she had seen news on TV of soldiers being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and never thought of it happening to her son.

“Now I understand what it really feels like,” she said.

The latest U.S. Defense Department identifications of casualties in Afghanistan:

•Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph C. Lopez, 26, of Rosamond, Calif., was killed Oct. 14 in combat operations in Helmand province.

•Army Sgt. Carlos A. Benitez,

24, of Carrollton, Texas, was killed Oct. 14 when his unit was hit with

an improvised explosive device between Moqur and Darreh-Ye-Bum.

•Army Spc. Rafael Martinez Jr., 36, of Spring Valley, Calif., also was killed in the Oct. 14 attack.

•Army Pfc. Tramaine J. Billingsley, 20, of Portsmouth, Va., also was killed in the Oct. 14 attack.

•Army Sgt. Eric C. Newman, 30, of Waynesboro, Miss., was killed Oct. 14 when his unit was hit with an improvised explosive device in Akatzai Kalay.

•Marine Lance Cpl. Alec E. Catherwood, 19, of Byron, Ill., was killed Oct. 14 in Helmand combat operations.

•Marine Lance Cpl. Irvin M. Ceniceros, 21, of Clarksville, Ark., was killed Oct. 14 in Helmand combat operations.

•Army Pfc. Jordan M. Byrd, 19, of Grantsville, Utah, was killed Oct. 13 by small-arms fire in Yahya Kheyl.

•Marine Cpl. Justin J. Cain, 22, of Manitowoc, Wis., was killed Oct. 13 in Helmand combat operations.

•Marine Lance Cpl. Phillip D. Vinnedge, 19, of St. Charles, Mo., was killed Oct. 13 in Helmand combat operations.

•Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph E. Rodewald, 21, of Albany, Ore., was killed Oct. 13 in Helmand combat operations.

•Marine Pfc. Victor A. Dew, 20, of Granite Bay, Calif., was killed Oct. 13 in Helmand combat operations.

•Marine Lance Cpl. Raymon L. A. Johnson, 22, of Midland, Ga., was killed Oct. 13 in Helmand combat operations.

•Army Spc. Matthew C. Powell, 20, of Slidell, La., died Oct. 12 at Kandahar Airfield of wounds from an improvised explosive device suffered at Ghunday Ghar.

•Marine Sgt. Frank R. Zaehringer III, 23, of Reno, Nev., was killed Oct. 11 in Helmand combat operations.

•Army Staff Sgt. Dave J. Weigle, 29, of Philadelphia, Pa., was killed Oct. 10 after his unit was hit by a hidden explosive in Zhari province.

•Army Spc. David A. Hess, 25, of Ruskin, Fla., also was killed in the Oct. 10 incident in Zhari.

•Marine Lance Cpl. John T. Sparks, 23, of Chicago, was killed Oct. 8 in Helmand combat operations.

•Navy Corpsman Edwin Gonzalez, 22, of North Miami Beach, Fla., was killed Oct. 8 by an improvised explosive in Helmand.

•Marine Cpl. Stephen C. Sockalosky, 21, of Cordele, Ga., was killed Oct. 6 in Helmand.