Soldier from Houston killed in Iraq

The Associated Press

Army Spc. Orlando A. Perez’s wife said he never had a sad look on his face. “If things were going bad, he always made the other person feel better,” said April Perez.

Perez, 23, of Houston, was killed Feb. 24 in Baghdad of wounds from small-arms fire. He graduated high school in 2003 and was assigned to Vilseck, Germany.

Perez used rest and recuperation leave from Iraq to spend a week with his mother, Nicolasa Arevalo, in New York and a week with his wife in Texas.

During his time in the Army, Perez, whose parents emigrated from El Salvador, was able to travel around Europe with his wife, his high school sweetheart.

“I’m glad he got a couple of years to travel,” April Perez said. “He got to see Seattle and Germany, Italy and England. He wanted to travel, and the Army allowed him to do that.”

The couple planned to start a family and have a large Catholic wedding upon his return to Houston. He also planned to continue his education, having already attended the University of Houston-Downtown for two years.