Culpeper Soldier Killed In Action

By: Venton Blandin
By: Venton Blandin

September 6, 2006

A Central Virginia family is mourning the loss of one of their own killed in action while fighting the war in Iraq.

The Andino family is mourning, but they are not alone. Several people in Culpeper County are sad, after finding out Private First Class Edwin Andino, was killed in Iraq on Sunday. Friends say they found out about his death with a shocking phone call.

"One of the ladies at the front counter said, I have bad news to tell you, and she said E.J. had been killed in Iraq. Those were her words," said Friend Lisa Corbin.

Private First Class Edwin Andino was killed by an explosive device on Sunday, September 3, 2006. His friends at the Reva Market in Culpeper County worked with him just a few years ago.

"It's very sad. It's extremely sad because E.J. was a really nice guy, and the sadness is there for his mother, and his family," added Corbin.

He graduated from Madison County High School in 2001.

"It is very sad because he did not have time to live. He was starting a life as an adult," said Friend Ethel Hicks.

Life in the military for the 23 year old, affectionately known as 'E.J.', started September 6, 2005. Wanting to enlist in the Army was tough for his mom to swallow for many reasons. One of them is clear.

"He was an only child, so this is going to be heart-breaking. That is describing it mildly I am sure," added Hicks.

News of E.J.'s death came on Sunday just 30 days after he arrived in Iraq. Grief surrounds the Andino family so much that they did not want to speak on camera. Instead, the soldier's grandfather shared pictures. Before walking away from the camera he called his grandson a hero.

Plans for a funeral for PFC Andino will be announced once they are made.

Andino is the second war casualty in Culpeper County. A 23-year-old lieutenant from Culpeper County was killed in Iraq in May of 2004.

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