Remembering Alexis Maldonado

We're looking further into the life of Specialist Alexis Vicente Maldonado, the most recent Texoma soldier who lost his life serving his country.  His aunt remembers how excited he was to serve his country.  But we also learned Maldonado was more than just a Purple Heart recipient; he was also a father, and a soon-to-be husband.

The Bronze Star Medal recipient was just 19 when he enlisted last year.  After basic training, he and his company were at Fort Hood during the shooting spree there last November.  Maldonado was deployed to Afghanistan with the 510th Clearance Company at the beginning of 2010.

"We were very worried because it's a chance that he might lose his life down there and we were really worried for him," said his aunt, Cristina Rodriguez.

She says Maldonado's two year old son was his pride and joy, and that he loved joking around with everyone.

"Always makin' us laugh.  Always.  He was a good guy.  He was really, really calm.  Quiet, but when he knew you, he knew you, and he would make you laugh about everything," she said.

Maldonado was set to be married in December.  His aunt says she wants Texoma to remember his service to his country.

"He fought 'til the end.  He was our hero.  The hero of our family," she said.

Maldonado had plans to attend the Universal Technical Institute in Dallas and to one day become a mechanic.  He was born and raised in Wichita Falls.  His casket should be arriving in town during the next few days.

Maldonado's funeral will be Monday at 10:30 am at Sacred Heart Church.

A Memorial fund has been set up in his family's name.  Anyone who wishes can contribute to account number 6530340907 at Wells Fargo.

Spencer Blake, Newschannel 6