The Department of Defense (DOD) announced that Octavio Herrera from Caldwell, ID was killed in an attack in Afghanistan on August 11.
Herrera was one of three soldiers supporting Operation Enduring Freedom who were killed when their unit was attacked with indirect fire.
The DOD stated, Staff Sgt. Octavio Herrera, 26, Sgt. Jamar A. Hicks, 22, of Little Rock, Ark., and Spc. Keith E. Grace Jr., 26, of Baytown, Texas were killed when their unit was attacked with indirect fire.
Herrera studied in Phoenix, Arizona and at Boise State.
Boise State President, Bob Kustra, shared his condolences in a press release regarding the loss of Herrera.
“Boise State mourns the loss of Sgt. Octavio Herrera and expresses deep condolences for his wife, Courtney, and his large, loving family,” Kustra said. “The campus community is proud of our active military students and our veterans, and we wish those still in harm’s way safe passage home.”
Dean of Students Chris Wuthrich also expressed appreciation for Herrera and other veteran students of Boise State.
“He was doing a great service and will be greatly missed,” Wuthrich said. “We have a large number of veteran students at Boise State campus and we recognize the kind of commitment any veteran student makes and we are appreciative of that.”
Herrera was a member of the 4th Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.
Herrera graduated from Caldwell High School in 2005. He joined the army in 2007.
Kim Yee, the manager of Orphan Annie’s in Caldwell, where Herrera was employed for two years, highlighted Herrera’s work ethic and character.
“He was a really good worker. He was quiet but did his job no matter what,” Yee said. “He was always friendly and was the kind of person you could tell really cared for everyone.”
Herrera’s family released the following statement to the media:
“First of all, we want the world to know that Octavio loved and was deeply loved by his family. His family has always been his priority, and it was clear to all of us that he took so much pleasure from being with us. That included play-wrestling with his nephews, nieces, his brothers and sister and even his father. He was the youngest but strongest son, and we thought of him as our ‘big little brother.’ He loved having fun! Octavio’s smile lit up any room he was in, and we will never forget that smile.”