OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Vicky Flores knew something bad had happened to her son when two military personnel showed up at her Lawton home. "I was outside gardening and they walked up behind us. I knew what had happened when I saw them," she said Monday of an Army soldier and chaplain who informed her that her son, Spc. Wilfred Flores Jr. had died in Iraq over the weekend.
Flores, 20, died Saturday in Baghdad and staff Sgt. Jason R. Arnette, 24, of Amelia, Va., died Sunday from wounds they received when an improvised explosive device detonated near the vehicle, in which they were riding, defense officials said.
Flores and Arnette were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division based at Fort Drum, N.Y., officials said.
Vicky Flores said she was told that her son and several other soldiers were on patrol in a Humvee when it was hit by a roadside bomb. She said she didn't have all the details yet.
"He was just home in January for a two-week visit," Vicky Flores said, adding that he would've turned 21 April 10. "He had access to computer e-mail and we received an e-mail a day before he got killed."
Vicky Flores said her son was very religious, very generous and believed "God had a hand in everything.â€
"He loved his job," she said. "He was there because he wanted to be there. He died doing what he loved the most."
Military service is a tradition in the Flores family. Vicky Flores and her husband, Wilfred, were both in the military and settled in Lawton after they retired, she said.
As soldiers, they did their duty, even when they didn't always agree with the policy, she said.
"He had no regrets," she said. "He told me once `Mom, I'm not especially a big fan of being in Iraq, but I love my job."'
It could be two weeks before funeral services for the Lawton Eisenhower graduate are complete, his mother said. Besides his parents, he leaves behind a sister, Theresa Siegrist.
To look a list of Oklahomans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, click here