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First Name: Osbaldo

Last Name: Orozco

Birthplace: Delano, CA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Date of Birth: 19 March 1977

Date of Death: 25 April 2003

Rank: First Lieutenant

Years Served:
Osbaldo Orozco

•  Iraq War (Operation Iraqi Freedom) (2003 - 2011)


Osbaldo Orozco
First Lieutenant, U. S. Army
Operation Iraqi Freedom

Osbaldo Orozco was born on 19 March 1977 in Delano, CA. He was the second of five sons born to Jorge and Reyes Orozco. Raised in Earlimart, he attended Earlimart Elementary and Middle Schools and was a 1995 graduate of Delano High School, where, on the football field, he proved himself a natural leader.

Osbaldo played varsity football for three years, making All-Valley, All-Area and All-State teams. At 6-foot-one, 225 pounds his senior year, he was recruited by many colleges, but chose Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he attended on full football scholarship. Easy going off the field, but relentless on, Osbaldo was named to the NCAA Division 1-AA Independent First Team his sophomore year and racked up 300 total tackles by the end of his college career.

Military Service

Osbaldo joined the ROTC while at Cal Poly and fell in love with the rigors and discipline of military life. He earned his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army on 16 June 2001, the day he graduated from Cal Poly with a degree in Social Sciences.

Osbaldo married Mayra Mendez the week following graduation and the couple moved to Fort Benning, GA, where they lived 11 months, then moved to Fort Hood, TX, where he joined the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment and trained to lead Bradley Fighting Vehicles into battle. Mayra spoke with pride of her husband and his love for her, his parents, his country and his cat, "Estrellita," which is Spanish for "little star." "He loved that cat so much," his wife said. "He found her at (an animal shelter) and bought her a bow and a little bell to wear. After the Army, he thought he would go into the FBI or the CIA. His men adored him and respected him. He was ready to go and do his job. They all were." 

On 25 April 2003 Orozco, now a First Lieutenant, was assigned to C Company, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, Fort Hood, TX. While near a checkpoint under fire in Tikrit, Iraq that day, his unit was the quick reaction force. He was killed when his Bradley vehicle flipped over while traveling through rough terrain as it responded to enemy fire and maneuvered into position to return fire.

Death and Burial

First Lieutenant Osbaldo Orozco was killed in action on 25 April 2003. He is buried at the Delano McFarland District Cemetery in Delano, Kern County, CA. His is survived by his wife, Mayra.

Honoree ID: 2186   Created by: MHOH




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