2007-06-29 / Front Page

Far Rockaway Native Killed By IED In Baghdad Bombing

By Howard Schwach

Aman who graduated from Far Rockaway High School in 2004 before joining the U.S. Army to get money for college was killed in Iraq on June 21. An Improvised Explosive Device planted by insurgents exploded under the Humvee that he and four other men were using to patrol in Baghdad, Iraq.

Sergeant Alphonso Montenegro II, who graduated from Far Rockaway High School, was killed in Baghdad, Iraq on June 21. Sergeant Alphonso Montenegro II, who graduated from Far Rockaway High School, was killed in Baghdad, Iraq on June 21. Army sources identified the local man as Sergeant Alphonso J. Montenegro II, 22, attached to the 1st Battalion of the 26th Infantry Regiment assigned to Schweinfurt, Germany.

Army sources say that Montenegro's three-year hitch was supposed to have ended last summer, after his first tour in Iraq. He was just days away from his discharge when his tour of duty was extended and his regiment was sent back to Iraq, sources say.

"He was so upset because they told him he had to do another year," his mother, Sandra Montenegro told Daily News columnist Michael Daly. "Whatever he did, he did it well."

He was due for discharge in September.

His brother, Christian Montenegro, also a soldier stationed in Fort Hood, Texas, told Newsday reporter Matthew Nestel that he and his brother "were always competing to see who could do the most with their lives." According to his brother, Montenegro was planning on a career in the medical field and wanted to use his Army college fund for that purpose.

Official sources say that Montenegro was not scheduled to go out on patrol the day he was killed, but he volunteered to take the place of another soldier and was killed.

His mother, who now lives in North Carolina, near where her son was stationed, said that she had not decided yet whether to bury Montenegro there or in New York.

Details of the attack that killed the Rockaway man were not available from the Department of Defense.

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