SANCHEZ, REYNALDO AYALA
SANCHEZ, REYNALDO AYALA
Rank / Branch:
PFC E-3, U.S. ARMY
Date of Birth:
HOSTILE, MULTIPLE FR
Awards & Decorations:
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list by County
REYNALDO AYALA SANCHEZ, PRIVATE FIRST CLASS, BIG SPRING, HOWARD COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Combat Infantryman's Badge, Bronze Star with "V" device, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal
Rey Sanchez was born in Big Spring, the sixth of seven children born to Antonio Ayala and Enrique Sanchez. He grew up in Big Spring, Texas and attended Big Spring schools, last attending Big Spring High School in the spring of 1961. He married Ida R. Robles of Big Spring on August 4, 1961. He worked as a cook at the Settles Hotel and later at the Ramada Inn. The marriage produced three children, the youngest of which was born after his death.
Rey was drafted into the Army and was inducted into the Army on September 13, 1967 through the Abilene AFEES station. He did his basic training with Company D, 5th Battalion, 1st Training Brigade and AIT infantry training at Fort Polk, Louisiana. He completed his training in the middle of February 1968 and was assigned to Vietnam.
Big Spring High-1961
Rey was 24 years old when he started his tour in Vietnam on March 12, 1968. He was assigned to A Company, 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, First Infantry Division (Big Red One) as an infantryman. Rey was wounded six weeks after being assigned to his unit. He died from massive multiple fragment wounds.
Bayonet Training, Fort Polk, Nov. 1967
Mount Olive Cemetery, Big Spring, Tx
He was buried with full military honors at the Mount Olive Cemetery in Big Spring, Texas. He was survived by his wife and his three children, Reynaldo Sanchez, Jr, Giana R. Sanchez and his daughter, Anglica who was born October 1968 seven months after his death. He was also survived by his parents and his six brothers and sisters, Enrique A Sanchez, Jr., of Big Spring, Humberto A. Sanchez of Odessa and his four sisters, Diamantina A. Sosa of Odessa, Elida A. Castano of San Antonio, Olivia Salyer of Massachusetts and Edelmira A. Lincon of Lubbock.
In August 1968, Rey was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star with "V" device. The citation read in part "For Heroism not involving aerial flight in connection with military operations against a hostile force in the Republic of South Vietnam."
The citation further read, "Sanchez was serving as a pointman with the leading element of his battalion during a search and destroy operation near the village of Phouc Vinh when he sptted enemy movement. With complete disregard for his personal safety, PFC Sanchez remained in the forward position as he placed devastating fire on the well entrenched Viet Cong and he threw smoke grenades their position. He again braved heavy enemy fire as he withdrew to the rear and reported the approximate location of Viet Cong bunkers to his superiors. With this information, friendly artillery fire was called in directly on the insurgents. Sanchez lead his platoon into the suspected area. The insurgents opened fire utilizing automatic weapons and small arms. He courageously advanced through the hostile rounds, as he placed devastating fire on the insurgents. He continued this heavy base of suppressive fire until he was hit and mortally wounded by hostile fire."
Rey's wife, Ida never remarried and is working the Department Housekeeping Manager at the Lamun-Lusk-Sanchez Texas Veteran's Home in Big Spring. His daughter, Gianna Maria Torres and her husband live in Big Spring and she is the mother of of three daughters. His daughter Angelica Sanchez Garcia and her husband are the parents of 2 daughters and one son and they live in Lamesa, Texas. His son, Reynaldo A. Sanchez, Jr. is a communication's technican and works at Midland Memorial Hospital in Midland and lives with his wife and he is the father of three daughters and one son.
His parents are now deceased. His sister, Diamantina Sosa, is divorced and lives in Odessa. His sister, Elida Sanchez Chestnut and her husband live in Lubbock, Texas. His brother, Enrique Sanchez, Jr., is divorced and lives in Big Spring, Texas. He is the father of two boys and one girl. His brother, Humberto Sanchez and his wife are the parents of three children. Humberto and his wife live in Odessa. His sister, Olivia Sanchez is divorced and is the mother of two children and she lives in San Antonio. His youngest sister, Edelmira Sanchez Licon is divorced and is the mother of one son and two daughters and she lives in Lubbock, Texas.
The Lamun-Lusk-Sanchez Texas Veteran's Home in Big Spring is named in Honor of PFC Reynaldo A. Sanchez
Texas Veteran's Home Entrance
First Infantry Patch
16th Infantry Regiment Patch