Camy Florexil – Specialist, United States Army

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U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
News Release

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 952-07
August 01, 2007

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Spcialist Camy Florexil, 20, of Philadelphia, died July 24, 2007,  in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during combat operations July 23 in Baghdad. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas.

2 August 2007:

A soldier whose last known address was in Germantown has been killed on the streets of Baghdad by an improvised explosive device, the Pentagon said yesterday.

Specialist Camy Florexil, 20, who was listed as living on School House Lane, died July 24 from wounds he had suffered a day earlier when the bomb exploded near his vehicle during combat operations in the war-ravaged Iraq capital.

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Florexil was based in Fort Riley, Kansas. He was an infantryman assigned to 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.

Military records showed that Florexil joined the Army in September 2005 and began serving with the 1st Infantry Division in February 2006. This had been his first deployment to Iraq.


3 August 2007:

A soldier from Philadelphia had been in Iraq for five months when he was killed last week, his family said.

Army Specialist Camy Florexil was killed after an explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Baghdad.

Family members praised the 20-year-old infantryman as a man who went to war but wasn't a fighter.

“I told his mother she should be proud anyway,” said his aunt, Marie Gerda-Pierre. “He didn't die by doing bad stuff. He wasn't hanging on the corner doing illegal stuff … He was fighting for the freedom of those people.”

Florexil surprised his family when he enlisted nearly two years ago.

His mother, Carol Florexil, lives in Haiti. Though Florexil was born in the United States, he spent the first few years of his life in Port-au-Prince because his mother was forced to return.

When his mother learned she couldn't come back to the United States, she sent Florexil and his older sister to live with Gerda-Pierre in Northeast Philadelphia.

Florexil joined the Army when he was 18, soon after attending the Swenson Arts and Technology High School.

Gerda-Pierre said Florexil would be buried in the United States after his mother came from Haiti to make funeral arrangements.


Fallen Soldier Made Family Proud
Specialist Studied Cooking, Surprised Relatives by Enlisting
By Mark Berman
Courtesy of the Washington Post
Saturday, October 6, 2007

Carol Florexil got the phone call in Haiti. The son she had sent to the United States for a better life was dead, killed by a roadside bomb while serving in Iraq.

“I told his mother she should be proud anyway,” Marie Gerda-Pierre told the Philadelphia Inquirer last month, explaining how she broke the news to her sister. “He didn't die by doing bad stuff. He wasn't hanging on the corner doing illegal stuff. He was fighting for the freedom of those people.”

Army Specialist Camy Florexil, 20, was buried yesterday at Arlington National Cemetery. His mother was there, along with his father, Vital Florexil, and his sister, Emanuella Florexil.

They were joined by more than 60 mourners who followed the flag-covered coffin to his grave site near a set of twin green wreaths adorned with red, white and blue flowers. As the service began, a woman in the second row of cloth-covered seats wailed loudly toward the sky.

On July 24, 2007, less than two years after he surprised family members by enlisting in the Army, Florexil died from injuries suffered when the bomb detonated near his vehicle during combat operations, the Department of Defense said.

Florexil, who was American-born, spent his early years in Haiti after his mother was forced to return to her native land, his aunt said in the interview. Unable to return to the United States, his mother made the tough choice of sending Florexil and his sister to live with Gerda-Pierre in Philadelphia, she said.

Florexil may have gone to war, but he wasn't a fighter, his aunt said.

“He was quiet, and a good student,” Gerda-Pierre said. “He was an artist who was interested in sketching and computers. He spent hours in front of the computer.”

Florexil attended Swenson Arts and Technology High School, a Philadelphia institution that offers career and technical programs along with academic classes. Just getting into the school was difficult, because prospective students have to apply, go through an interview process and then make it through a lottery, school officials said.

He was in the culinary arts program during his time at Swenson. Florexil was a familiar face at the Lion's Den, an on-campus restaurant where culinary students practiced everything from cooking for teachers to serving meals to restaurant management several times a week.

Florexil last visited Swenson at the end of the last school year, shortly before leaving for Iraq. He was dressed in his fatigues.

He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, based at Fort Riley, Kansas. He joined the Army in September 2005 and became the 375th military service member killed in Iraq to be buried at Arlington.

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Arlington Funeral IraqA military honor guard carries the casket of Army Specialist Camy Florexil, 23, of Philadelphia, to the grave site during funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery, Friday, October 5, 2007

Arlington Funeral IraqA military honor guard lowers the casket of Army Specialist Camy Florexil, 23, of Philadelphia, during funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery, Friday, October 5, 2007

Arlington Funeral IraqA military honor guard holds the flag over the casket of Army Specialist Camy Florexil, of Philadelphia, during the funeral services at Arlington Cemetery, Friday, October 5, 2007

Arlington Funeral IraqAn honor guard holds the flag that draped the casket of Army Specialist Camy Florexil, of Philadelphia, during the funeral services at Arlington Cemetery, Friday, October 5, 2007

Arlington Funeral IraqThe military honor guard that carried the casket of Army Specialist Camy Florexil, 23, of Philadelphia, walks away during funeral services at Arlington Cemetery, Friday, October 5, 2007

James Pillsbury, Emanuella FlorexilMajor General James Pillsbury, left, presents an American flag to Emanuella Florexil, sister of Army Specialist Camy Florexil, 23, of Philadelphia, during the funeral services at Arlington Cemetery, Friday, October 5, 2007

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