|Birth: ||Aug. 10, 1975|
|Death: ||Dec. 28, 2003|
Ernie died in Iraq when an explosive device hit his vehicle in Qaryat Ash Shababi.
Although he was born in Hartford, Connecticut,Ernie grew up in Puerto Rico and at the age of 15 moved with his family to San Antonio. He attended Texas A&M University and belonged to the Corps of Cadets there. He graduated in 1998.
Ernie enlisted in the Army in 1999. For 2 years he served with the 82nd Airborne Division. In 2002, he was deployed to Afghanistan and earned a bronze star.
Ernie has been deployed to Iraq since September 2003 and was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment based out of Fort Bragg, N.C..
According to the US Army, Ernie was the first officer from the 82nd killed in Iraq.
Friends and family gathered together on December 30th and described Ernie as positive, wise, loyal, a leader, a role model, and full of life.
He was engaged to be married in June to Michelle Sorrel.
He is survived by: his mother, Gloria Caldas, and stepfather, Barry Levine, of San Antonio; his father, Jose Blanco, and stepmother, Thaymi Blanco, of Frisco; his sister, Carmen Blanco-Pendergraff and her husband, Blaire Pendergraff, and their son, Trystan Pendergraff, of San Antonio.
Quoting his sister from the San Antonio Express News: "Ernie was our glue. Even though we've always been close, now we can all relate to the same thing," she said. "Family is what you've got — and amazing friends."
Ernie was 28 years old.
Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
Plot: Section 25 Site 1355
Maintained by: Gloria Caldas
Originally Created by: Angelbabe_E
Record added: Jan 02, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 8231991