Marlon Andres Bustamante – Specialist, United States Army

NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.  They died in Baghdad, Iraq, on February 1, 2006, when an improvised explosive device detonated near their HMMWV.  The soldiers were assigned to the Army's 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Killed were:

First Lieutenant Garrison C. Avery, 23, of Lincoln, Nebraska
Specialist Marlon A. Bustamante, 25, of Corona, New York
Private First Class Caesar S. Viglienzone, 21, of Santa Rosa, California

For further information related to this release, contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000.

No Avoiding The Pain Of Losing A Loved One To War
Corona Family Dealing With Loss Of Son In Iraq
Courtesy of WCBS-TV, New York City

Friday's gray morning skies and the chill wind that blew down 47th Avenue in Corona framed the mood of the young men CBS 2 met on the front porch of this fallen soldier's home.

Marlon Bustamante's two surviving brothers and his friend said Marlon's mother, Gladys, was too distraught to see us.

They showed us a couple of pictures of Marlon in fatigues next to younger brother Omar in his dress uniform. Omar is with the 82nd Airborne.

Now his brother, with the 101st Airborne, was gone, killed with two other soldiers this past Wednesday. A roadside bomb, Omar said.

Marlon, 25, was the father of three children. His wife and the kids got the news at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Kid brother Omar said he and his brother never discussed what might happen to either of them, and that Marlon was sure he'd come back.

Omar and the oldest of the brothers, Carlos, both said their brother was a hero. But Carlos, who is not in the service, was down on the war.

When asked if the price is too steep to pay, Carlos said, “Absolutely. This war's never gonna end. Just more Americans are gonna get killed. It's lives being lost. I lost my brother. My mother lost her son.”

The brothers say Marlon hoped the army would be a stepping stone to his dream job as an NYPD cop. Lee Warshawasky, who said Marlon was his best friend going back to their days at Flushing High School, said “everything (Marlon did) was always to help somebody else.”

The brothers said their mother wanted to make sure we knew one thing — Marlon was a Christian and now he's in God's hands.

“Make sure if you don't put anything else in, make sure you say that,” Carlos said.

Now plans are being made to bury Marlon Bustamante in Arlington National Cemetery.

G.I. flies home to Qns. for sad goodbye

The soldier brother of an Army specialist killed in Baghdad by a roadside bomb last week made a sad journey home from Iraq yesterday to be with his grieving family in Queens.

Army Specialist Marlon Bustamante, 25, a father of three from Corona, died Wednesday when an explosive device blew up near his Humvee in eastern Baghdad, military officials said.

Bustamante, who dreamed of becoming a city cop, joined the Army after the war in Iraq began in 2003 and was scheduled to complete his second tour of duty with the 101st Airborne Division this spring.

“My brother is a hero,” said Omar Ciro, 20, who was granted leave by the Army to attend his brother's funeral.

Ciro joined the Army in the footsteps of his brother, who was expecting to be discharged in April and was hoping to join the ranks of New York's Finest, said Bustamante's older brother, Carlos, 30.

Carlos, along with Omar and other relatives, traveled to the family's home in Corona yesterday to comfort his heartbroken mother.

Marlon Bustamante, who was based in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, also leaves behind his wife, Danielle, twin 1-year-old boys, Gabriel and Xavier, and a 3-month-old daughter, Annalyse.

Bustamante was born in Colombia and came to the U.S. when he was about a year old. He later became a citizen, graduated from Flushing High School and signed up with the Army, quickly becoming a decorated soldier.

His awards include the Army Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal, according to his unit in Kentucky.

Also killed in the blast were First Lt. Garrison Avery, 23, of Lincoln, Nebraska, and Private First Class Caesar Viglienzone, 21, of Santa Rosa, California. Like Bustamante, they were assigned to the division's 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment.

A Colombian flag and an American flag were draped side by side from the terrace of the family's home yesterday. Bustamante is expected to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Corona Soldier 13th Queens Casualty

The life of the 13th soldier from Queens to die in the war against terror was taken last week.

On February1, 2006, Army Specialist Marlon Bustamante, 25, and two fellow GIs from his Fort Campbell, Kentucky, battalion were killed by a roadside bomb in eastern Baghdad, military officials said.

Bustamante, a graduate of Flushing High School, grew up in Corona with dreams of one day serving his community as a man in blue for the NYPD. But before Bustamante could pack away his green fatigues he was called for a second tour of duty through Baghdad.

Shortly after the fighting began in Iraq, Bustamante joined the military in 2003, beginning his first tour with the 101st Airborne Division’s 502nd Infantry regiment in 2004. While on his second tour with the regiment, Bustamante saw the possibility of his childhood dream coming true to be within reach, until the unexpected blast took his life.

“He never talked down about the war. He kept saying, ‘We’re making a difference,’” his brother Carlos said in a published report.

Along his quiet Corona street on Tuesday, small flags were taped to the doors of his neighbors front doors, for what many said was the only way they knew to honor the quiet and always polite young man who lived in their neighborhood. It was behind the doors of the apartment where Columbian and U.S. flags were draped over a terrace that those who were most affected by the loss of a local hero lived.

Bustamante’s mother, Gladys Ciro, 54, was not at home. She had spent most of her waking time grieving at a local church for her son who loved his family and would help anyone in need, her neighbors said.

Bustamante was trying to build a future for his wife, Danielle, a former soldier he met at Fort Campbell, 2-year-old twin sons and a 5-month-old daughter that he left behind. Carlos Bustamante said in previous reports that his brother had an influence on not only his children’s lives but also his younger brother, Omar Ciro, 20, who was granted leave by the Army to attend his brother’s funeral.

Omar had seen his middle brother, who received the Army Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal, accomplish many things with the army and wanted to follow in his footsteps, all the way to the NYPD, Carlos said.

Even though Bustamante was born in Colombia and moved to Queens when he was about a year old, he loved the United States. It was his country, the family said.

“He was a son of Queens who wanted a career in law enforcement, but made the supreme sacrifice in service to his country in Baghdad,” Borough President Helen Marshal said.

The family is in the process of completing funeral arrangements and has said they hope to bury Bustamante at Arlington National Cemetery, a wish he had mentioned to his brothers before his second tour.


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