Community comes together for memorial for serviceman

MERCEDES — A memorial ceremony for Staff Sgt. Michael Cinco will bring closure to a community mourning the serviceman who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

“We will make that memorial a special event here at the Mercedes school district,” Superintendent Daniel Trevino said. “He will never be forgotten.”

Family, friends and the community will come together for Cinco’s memorial in his hometown of Mercedes.

Cinco is a graduate of the Mercedes High School class of 2005.

The memorial will be held at the Mercedes Early College Academy auditorium on Feb. 5 at 10 a.m.

The school auditorium is located at 837 South Ohio Avenue.

The event is open to the public.

Trevino said Cinco enlisted in the military after high school with the understanding he was going to be in harm’s way.

“Our thoughts and our prayers go out to the Cinco family,” Trevino said.

A committee organized by Mercedes Mayor Henry Hinojosa and leaders in the community organized the memorial so the Cinco family and his immediate commander and other Air Force officials would be able to attend.

His commander will be the keynote speaker and will talk about Cinco and their time serving in the Air Force together.

A close friend of Cinco’s also will address the audience about growing up with him in Mercedes.

The event will be broadcast live over the Internet. The Mercedes school district technology department will have a link to the memorial available on the district’s website for viewing.

Del Castillo, a music group from San Antonio, will perform one song in honor of Cinco.

“It will bring closure and it says a lot about this community,” Hinojosa said. “It’s going to be an awesome event.”

Cinco’s funeral was held Jan. 6 at Randolph Air Force Base.

Cinco and five other servicemen, who were part of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, were killed Dec. 21 when they were attacked by a Taliban suicide bomber on a motorcycle in Afghanistan.

Cinco had been assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, 11th Field Investigations Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph.

ragarcia@valleystar.com