Family remembers their soldier who died helping others - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Family remembers their soldier who died helping others

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THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -

By LeiLani Golden - bio | email

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) –For the second time in two months, Thomasville is mourning the loss of a hometown soldier.

25-year old Specialist Shannon Chihuahua, an Army medic, died while treating a wounded soldier last week in Afghanistan.

We spoke to his family Tuesday as they remembered the man who they say loved being soldier.

"I love daddy!" exclaims 3-year old Sophia Chihuahua. She can't quite grasp the sacrifice her father made for his country.

"I can't express how proud of him I am. How selfless he was," says her mother, Kristen Chihuahua. "He loved this country and he believed in what he was fighting for. It meant so much to him for his daughters to be whatever they dreamed they could be."

Shannon Chihuahua, an Army medic, died in Afghanistan after his unit was attacked by insurgents using small arms fire and rocket propelled grenades. He was fatally wounded while helping a fellow soldier.

"Part of the soldier's creed is never leave a fallen comrade," explains Shannon's sister, Jessica Frausto. "Every day he went out and lived up to those words."

His mother Denise Jenkins adds, "When he was a little boy, he said he wanted to be a doctor. At first I thought about him being so clumsy. But he proved to me he could and made us all proud."

Shannon's family says fond memories are helping them through this painful time.

"He was just always doing silly things that made you laugh. He was a really fun kid," says his brother, Eric Chihuahua.

Another sister, Christina Smith remembers, "When my mom was pregnant with him, I wanted a little sister. I was like, if it's a girl we're going to name her Shanna. But if it's a boy, we're going to name him Shannon. So that was his name and he always said why did you have to give me a girl's name?"

Shannon leaves behind Sophia and 4-month old Annabelle, a daughter he only got to spend two weeks of her life with. But his wife Kristen says she'd rather be a single mother than not have them at all.

"I'm just so grateful for that because I look at my children and see my husband's face," she says.

And his family wants his daughters to know he died a hero.

"I want everyone to know that he loved being a soldier," says Frausto.

Leaving behind a legacy for a proud family.

Specialist Chihuahua will be laid to rest after a public funeral at Thomas County Central High School.

The date has not been announced.

The community is planning a flag parade like the one held in late September for another fallen hero, Senior Chief Petty Officer Blake McLendon.

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