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1st Special Forces Group (Airborne)
Adrian enlisted in the United States Army in May 30, 1996. he completed airborne and Ranger school at Fort Benning, Georgia, and spent most of his career in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He deployed in 2004 to Iraq where he made the decision to go through selection for Special Forces. After selection, he attended the special forces qualification course and earned the military occupational specialty of 18C. After completion of his training, he was assigned to ODA164, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne). In March 2007, Adrian deployed with his unit to Iraq. On August 23, 2007, Adrian‘s vehicle was struck by an IED while they were out on a mission. He was killed along with his friend and teammate, SFC Michael J Tully.
Adrian was a natural born leader, who always looked out for the underdog. He was never the tallest, or the biggest one in his classrooms, or within his circle of friends and teammates, but he fought the hardest to make sure that he made the biggest impact to take care of others.  He was my only sibling and although he was the youngest, he took his responsibility seriously when my forget would tell him to watch over the house during his business trips.
Adrian lived and breathed the Special Forces motto: “De Opresso Liber” (Free the Opressed) and for that, my parents and I are proud of the man he became.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Adrian M. Elizalde

Died August 23, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

30, of North Bend, Ore.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Lewis, Wash.; died Aug. 23 in Baghdad of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device. Also killed was Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Tully.

Soldier from North Bend killed in war

The Associated Press

NORTH BEND, Ore. — A soldier from North Bend died last week when an improvised explosive device struck his vehicle southeast of Baghdad.

Sgt. 1st Class Adrian Elizalde, 30, was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), out of Fort Lewis, Wash. A soldier from Pennsylvania also died in the explosion.

The Defense Department initially announced that Elizalde was from North Bend, Ind., which created confusion among friends and family members.

Jorge Elizalde said the mistake created a whirlwind of calls from people wondering whether his son had died.

“We’ve been dealing with a lot here,” he said. “My son was special to us and we know he touched a lot of people. Everybody’s coming forward.”

One of those people is Sally Prouty, a retired North Bend principal who taught Elizalde in second grade.

“He was extremely bright and he liked to break dance and do the moonwalk all the time,” Prouty told The Oregonian newspaper. “What a waste because he really was a wonderful boy. As an adult, he would’ve added a lot to this or any other community where he landed. He was there for everybody whenever they were in need.”

Elizalde joined the Army in 1996, one year after graduating from North Bend High School. He is survived by his parents, Jorge and Teresa Elizalde, and sister Rachel, all of Renton, Wash.; and his daughter Sydney Grace, 6, of Klamath Falls.

“In short, he’s the most wonderful man you’d want to have on your side,” Rachel Elizalde told The World newspaper of Coos Bay. “He stands up for what he believes in. He was a phenomenal father. He was the best.”

Sgt. 1st Class Tim Freeland, who visited the Elizaldes after learning of their loss, said he befriended Elizalde during their first duty assignment at Fort Bragg, N.C. The two men served in the same unit, boxed on the same team, worked together and eventually became roommates.

“It comes in waves,” Freeland said of his sadness. “Sometimes you are OK and sometimes you are not. It sucks, y’know? We lost a good person.”

Teresa Elizalde said her son was serious about his military career, but had talked about becoming a teacher after his stint in the Army, and possibly a wrestling coach.

Elizalde started wrestling at age 8, his father said, and became a standout. In high school, he won a district championship in the 126-pound weight class, qualifying for the state tournament.

“He was a very disciplined person,” Jorge Elizalde said. “Whatever he set his sights on, he went after it. He wanted to be the best at whatever he attempted.”

North Bend Mayor Rick Wetherell, who used to coach Elizalde in football and baseball, said the death leaves a big hole in the city.

“Everybody has a position on this war and at times like this it doesn’t really matter where you stand,” Wetherell said. “You don’t realize the cost until it comes home like it has now