Soldier killed in base accident to be honored
A motorcade of local and state police cruisers will escort the body of the Framingham-born soldier who died in an on-post traffic accident on Fort Hood in Texas last week as he returns to his hometown Wednesday.
The body of Sgt. Andre Araujo, 26, is scheduled to arrive Wednesday around 5:30 p.m. at Logan Airport.
A Marlborough police car will accompany Araujo's family and friends to the airport and from there to Fitzgerald & Collins Funeral home, said Marlborough Police Chief Mark Leonard. A Marlborough police officer in the motorcade volunteered to be part of it because he knew Araujo's family, said Leonard.
Araujo will be buried with full military honors at Evergreen Cemetery, 133 Wilson St., on Friday after a Mass at 11 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Church on Prospect Street.
News of his death spread quickly in the local Brazilian community. Araujo, born to Brazilian parents who immigrated to the United States in 1980, was well liked and respected. For many Brazilians who signed his guest book on the obituary Web site, Araujo was an example to follow as a young man who was willing to fight for his country.
Araujo served two tours in Iraq. His first tour was with the Marine Corps while his most recent deployment was with the U.S. Army. He returned from a nine-month voluntary assignment in the Middle East in April.
In a 2001 article published in the Daily News about the feelings of soldiers' families after the Sept. 11 attacks, Araujo's mother, Lelia Araujo, said she was proud of her son.
"He wants to defend the place where he was born,'' she said back then. "I'm scared but I support him. I wouldn't prevent him from defending his homeland.''
Araujo died July 1 in Temple, Texas, after a car accident on Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, the day before.
According to an incident report released by the Public Affairs Office of the 13th Sustainment Command, Araujo's company, Araujo was driving his car with another soldier on his way to work about 8:45 a.m. when he was struck by a civilian driving on the military base.
Both soldiers were taken to the base medical center, but because of Araujo's serious injuries, he was taken to Scott & White Regional Medical Facility in Temple. There, doctors tried to save his life but he had no brain activity. On July 1 at 2 p.m., Araujo was declared dead. The day after, a memorial ceremony was held at the 180th Transportation Battalion in his honor.
The accident is under investigation, said Maj. Raul Marquez, public affairs officer with the 13th Sustainment Command.
At the time of his death, Araujo was an ammunition specialist with the U.S. Army and was assigned to 180th Transportation Battalion at Fort Hood. He was based there since 2006, when he joined the Army.
Araujo, who was raised in Marlborough, graduated from Assabet Technical High School in 2000, and soon after joined the Marines.
After he entered active duty in July 2000, he was assigned to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, where he rose to corporal and, as an artilleryman, served a tour in Iraq. His last tour in Iraq was with the Army. He was deployed to Tallil, where he served as a squad leader and ammunition sergeant.
His military awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medal, the Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon and the Overseas Ribbon.
He is survived by his wife, Noelle, who is six months pregnant with their first child. He has another daughter in Kansas and a stepdaughter in Fort Hood.
Calling hours will be Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m. at Fitzgerald & Collins Funeral Home, 378 Lincoln St., Marlborough.
A funeral Mass will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Church, 11 Prospect Street. Full military funeral honors will be rendered at Evergreen Cemetery, 133 Wilson St.
Liz Mineo can be reached at 508-626-3825 or email@example.com.
MetroWest Daily News