CPT Paul W. Peña (USMA '04)

Pena04.jpg
2004 - Pena, Paul W.jpg
Pena04.jpg
2004 - Pena, Paul W.jpg

CPT Paul W. Peña (USMA '04)

25.00

Paul W. Pena was a hard worker but wasn’t one to sing his own praises. As a skinny teenager in the Junior ROTC program at San Marcos Baptist Academy in San Marcos, Texas, he worked quietly behind the scenes, ensuring that the unit’s annual inspection and other events went smoothly.

He rose to the rank of cadet major and graduated from the academy fifth in his class in 2000, said school spokeswoman Shelley Henry. Then he attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, graduating in 2004.

Henry said Pena visited the school after serving in Iraq and didn’t seem apprehensive about returning to combat.

“He was just a leader, and I don’t think he was the kind to go in afraid,” she said. “He was a brave soldier.”

Pena, 27, died Jan. 19 in the Arghandab River Valley of Afghanistan of wounds from an explosive. He was assigned to Fort Bragg, N.C.

A teacher at the San Marcos academy, Max Smith, recalled Pena as a diligent, well-behaved boy. “He always came back here and let you know he was OK and that he appreciated all you’d done for him,” said Smith, a retired Army colonel.

Proceeds from the CPT Paul W. Pena bracelet will be donated to the CPT Paul W. Pena Memorial Scholarship Fund.

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