On Memorial Day the city of Hialeah will honor Army Sgt. First Class Ofren Arrechaga, a Cuban American soldier from Hialeah who was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan on March 29th. Our hearts and deepest sympathies go out to his family and we all give thanks for his valiant service.
Hialeah to honor soldier killed in Afghanistan
On Memorial Day, Hialeah will honor one of its own, fallen soldier Ofren Arrechaga, when the city adds his name to its veterans memorial.
At 14, Arrechaga came to Hialeah in 1997 with his family from Havana through the visa lottery system. After graduating from Barbara Goleman Senior High in Miami Lakes in 2000, Arrechaga joined the U.S. Army a year later, in 2001.
“He loved to be active,” said his mother Marta Alvarez in a phone interview.
On March 29, Sgt. First Class Arrechaga died in the line of duty. He and two other soldiers were killed when their unit came under fire in the Konar province of Afghanistan. He was 28.
The day before the fatal firefight, his son Alston turned 3. Arrechaga was looking forward to the end of his fourth deployment, his mother said, recounting their last conversation online on March 25.
“He was very happy. He was saying he was excited to come home, that there was just a little time left before his return,” she said in Spanish.
“And in fact there was just a little time left. But not how we wanted.”
Alvarez, his wife Seana, toddler son and other family members will attend the Memorial Day ceremony honoring him in Hialeah on Monday. His parents and wife live in Clarksville, Tenn., just a few miles south of Fort Campbell, Ky, where his U.S. Army battalion was based. He also has a daughter, who lives in Kentucky.