United States Army Staff Sergeant • Line of Duty Death: October 19, 2009

United States Army Staff Sergeant Bradley Espinoza passed away on October 19, 2009 while on deployment in Iraq.

Espinoza was born in San Juan, Texas and raised in Alton, Texas. Being the oldest of five children, Espinoza was a role model for his siblings. Growing up, he was surrounded by his mother’s extended family. When he was not spending time with his close, tight-knit family, Espinoza could be found playing football and also had an interest in wrestling. Later on, shortly after his first deployment to Iraq, he and his wife, Maria, met in Houston, Texas.

Inspired by the tragic events that occurred on September 11, 2001, Espinoza decided to enlist in the US Army upon graduating from high school. He felt a sense of duty that quickly became impossible to ignore. In July of 2002, Espinoza enlisted. He loved the camaraderie he shared with his fellow soldiers, as well as having a sense of purpose in life. He had goals to retire from the military after 20 years and transition to civilian law enforcement, with the ultimate goal of becoming an ATF agent. Throughout his honorable career, Espinoza received a multitude of awards and commendations, including a Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Action Badge, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. One month before he was scheduled to return home, Espinoza was killed by an IED explosion while conducting route clearance in the Nineveh Province of Iraq.

Maria currently lives with her children, Celeste and Joseph. In memory of their father, the pair have dedicated their lives to the service of others. Celeste is obtaining her degree in social work and plans to work at the VA helping veterans, while Joseph is going to follow his parents’ footsteps and enlist in the Army when he graduates from high school. Maria is currently in college, acquiring her degree in political science and plans on attending law school afterwards. In the future, she is excited to move into her new mortgage-free home, gifted from Tunnel to Towers, and make new memories in it. She is grateful for a burden being lifted off of her shoulders, as well as being able to focus on her mental and physical health. Receiving their home has ensured the Espinoza family has a safe space to heal, grow, and continue to honor Espinoza’s memory. Finally, Maria would like others to know that her husband loved and gave with his whole heart. His sacrifice is a testament to the type of man he was. He is severely missed.

United States Army Staff Sergeant Bradley Espinoza is survived by his loving wife, Maria, and his beautiful children, Celeste and Joseph.