MIAMI (CBS4) – Family and friends are mourning the loss of a South Florida soldier who died after his unit was attacked with small arms fire in Afghanistan.
Spc. Gerardo Campos, 23, died Saturday in Maiwand, Afghanistan while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. He leaves behind a wife and 10 month old daughter.
Long before Spc. Campos died serving his country, his family knew him as a hero. Campos grew up in Homestead, one of five children.
“He was just a good man, honest man, good man brave man,” said sister, Erica Campos. “He was everything- everything you can think of – superhero, friend, father, best brother,” said Eduardo Campos, the youngest of the 5 siblings.
Gerardo taught his younger brother to play football and wrestled with his sisters. Erica Campos said he taught her to be tough. And when he joined the Army, fellow soldiers looked up to him too.
“He always did say that I have to be strong for them, show them not to be scared and I know that’s what he did,” said Erica.
“If anybody would get to know him, they’d be honored to know him,” said Eduardo. “I know he went down serving his country and I’m very proud of him and now it’s up to me and my older brother to take care of his little daughter.”
His family said his wife and daughter were the loves of Campos’ life. His wife was getting ready to send a present for his first Father’s day. Now, they will all teach Campos’ daughter to be proud of her dad.
“He left with honor, a brave soldier,” said Erica. “He fought for us. He gave his life for us”
Spc. Campos enlisted in the United States Army in March 2010
“A never-say-never type of attitude with a go-getter personality, he was a friend you could always count on,” said Knight. “Spc. Campos was the wind beneath the wings of his platoon. He motivated his fellow Soldiers and believed in their ability to rise to the occasion, regularly pushing them beyond their limits. Spc. Campos had a level of maturity far beyond his age and displayed the potential to become a future Sergeant Major in the Army.”
Spc. Campos was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
Army officials say his awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the NATO Medal, and the Parachutist Badge.