Remembering the Life and Memory of...
Spc. Michael L. Gonzalez
Hometown: Spottswood, New Jersey, U.S.
Age: 20 years old
Died: August 28, 2008 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Unit:Army, 340th Military Police Company, Fort Totten, NY.
Birth: Jan. 22, 1988
New Jersey, USA
Death: Aug. 28, 2008
Specialist Michael L. Gonzalez, 20, of Spotswood, New Jersey, the son of Pedro L. and Ida D. Gonzalez. Michael was a 2006 graduate of Spotswood High School. He was a responsible young man, while in high school he worked at a variety of jobs, while also enjoying skateboarding, paintball, working out and weightlifting. His real dream was to become a police officer, so he attended a junior police academy twice during the summers while in high school. He enlisted in the Army after graduation and completed basic and advanced individual training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, in July 2006. He graduated from the Military Police School in December 2006. He deployed to Iraq in July 2008, as a member of the 340th Military Police Company, Fort Totten, New York. Michael was very proud to serve his country and wished to serve it as a police officer when his enlistment ended. He died of wounds suffered by an improvised explosive device. Michael's military awards and decorations include the Global War on Terrorism ribbon and the Army Service Ribbon. He is survived by his father and mother, Pedro and Ida Leiby Gonzalez, his brother Troy, paternal grandparents Maria and Alberto Gonzalez, his girlfriend Tiffany Loving, a cousin, Jonathan Nourse, and many extended family members and friends. He was predeceased by his maternal grandparents, John B. and Lillian P. Leiby, who both died in 1991. Bio by: Sue
Note: Cremains Burial:
Arlington National Cemetery
Plot: Section 60, Site 8735
MY HERO, SPC MICHAEL L. GONZALEZ.on Sep30by Herobracelets | Print the article |My Story..
I do not know where to start.. I have so much to say.. I am the Proud Mother of Spc. Michael L Gonzalez. We received our hero bracelets from a family memeber. Then I needed to get more for all of my family and friends. When I seen where the donations go to I even wanted to donate more. How do I tell the world how proud I am of my son. That I do not blame United States of America, Michael or God.. it was Michael’s destiny to be in Iraq fighting for his country.. for peace on earth. When Michael decided to join the Army I as a mother was against it I told him military is good if there is no war. He told me mom this is what I want to do. He wanted to be a policeman and he figured joining the military was the best way to get there fast.
Michael called his NCO all the time to see when he could go. He got orders twice before and both times they sent him back what a releif. Then he got his 3rd set of orders in March, he was to be in Fort Totten, NY to leave for training in Fort Dix the end of March. When we brought him on Saturday which was the day that they explained to the families all the things they needed to know about deployment. He was not even on their roll call list, I said ok lets go Michael. I was so worried he didn’t really know anyone except two others from his the 430th.his home unit.
They left for Fort Dix for training on Sunday and since that was in NJ he was still close to home, only 45 minutes south of us. We did visit him a few times when he was there he would call at 8PM and say I have free time can you come get me.. So off we went so we can be with our son.. On June 20th he had his 4 day leave before he went to Iraq. We had a going away party for him, I am so thankful that the people who cared so much for Michael were able to make it. We said a few things and wished him well that when he came home he would even have a bigger party. We took him back to Fort Dix on Monday June 23rd, the day before my birthday. For my birthday he made sure I had a computer camera.
When he got to Kuwait he called to let us know he got there ok. I believe he was in Kuwait for 2 weeks, then off to Rustamiyah. I was able to chat with Michael online almost everyday. Thank heavens for internet access which he paid $55 a month for to me it was worth every penney. I spoke with him on the phone once, and the Friday before he died he left a message for us. I hold on to that with all my heart.
On Wednesday Michael was talking to Tiffany on the phone, she heard loud noises. When he went to his bunk buddy he was having a seizure, Michael saved his life.. I didn’t know that and I was looking for him online to see how the other solider was. He wasn’t online. We went about our lifes because my husband was home on Thursday 8/28/2008. I needed a few things from the grocery store and when I went out of the corner of my eye I seen someone walking up the sidewalk. When I turned to look it was two military personal dressed in there dress greens. I knew then and there what they were going to tell me..
Spc. Michael L Gonzalez was killed in action 8/28/2008 … We miss him dearly… HE IS OUR HERO..
WHEREAS, ARMY SPECIALIST MICHAEL L. GONZALEZ, lived in Spotswood all of his life and enlisted in the Army during his senior year at Spotswood High School and left for basic training after his graduation in 2006 ; and
WHEREAS, Michael was assigned to the 18th Military Police Brigade, 95th Military Police Battalion, of the 340th Military Police Company. His home unit was the 430th Military Police Detachment in Red Bank; and
WHEREAS, Michael was an active member of the Spotswood Junior Police Academy, class numbers 001 and 002 in 2005 and 2006. He demonstrated unique character traits of leadership, honor, integrity and dedication to public service. He furthered his connection to this program by continuing his contact with his instructors to serve as an aid as a Community Role Model; and
WHEREAS, Michael L. Gonzalez, age 20, died on August 28, 2008 in Iraq of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device exploded; and
WHEREAS, we gratefully acknowledge that we live in freedom today because of the many sacrifices that have been made and are being made today, by the valiant servicemen and women in the Armed Forces; and
WHEREAS, the Spotswood Police Department, Administration and our Community desires to honor the valor, service, and dedication of Michael L. Gonzalez by appointing him as an honorary police officer of the Borough; and
WHEREAS, Michael L. Gonzalez a citizen representing our community who was called to arms as soldier in the endeavor to protect and serve, and who possessed all the great virtues of Honor, Courage, Selflessness, and Sense of Duty to his Community and Country will be dearly missed by all of us.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED I, Thomas W. Barlow, Mayor, do hereby proclaim the 2009 National Night Out in Memory of MICHAEL L. GONZALEZ, Honorary Police Officer of the Borough of Spotswood, and call upon all our citizens to make every effort to express our appreciation to Michael against all who would violate the law.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT AND IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that this Mayor and Council, speaking on behalf of the entire Community, mourn Michael's loss and extend to his family our sincere sympathy in this hour of their bereavement.
DATED: September 8, 2008
Thomas W. Barlow, Mayor
Patricia DeStefano, RMC