Born: March 10, 1974
Died: May 12, 2012
Army Staff Sgt. Israel P. Nuanes, 38, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, was greeted by our heavenly Father on May 12, 2012. He died of injuries caused by an improvised explosive device in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. Israel was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team Leader assigned to 84th Ordnance Bn, 71st Ordnance Gp, 741st Ordance Co, Fort Bliss, Texas.
Israel, who was better known as “Iz,” was born to Elizabeth Marie Padilla on March 10, 1974 in Silver City, New Mexico. He graduated from Casa Grande Union High School in 1992, which he then enlisted into the Army. He was a 63S Heavy Truck Mechanic and was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. Israel had a break in service in which he worked underground at Cobre Mines. In addition, he attended Western New Mexico University and obtained his Associate’s degree in Computer Network and Technology in 1999. Israel continued to have a strong drive and compassion for the military, which led him to join the Army National Guard. During this time, he was employed as a Systems Administrator for Unitech at White Sands Missile Range and later employed at Hatch Valley Public Schools. Israel was deployed with the Army National Guard in 2004-2005 to Iraq. Upon his return, he re-enlisted active duty Army as Infantry, where he trained at Fort Benning, Georgia and was later stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In 2008, Israel was stationed at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama and then onto Eglin Airforce Base, Florida to complete training as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician. Through extensive and challenging training, Israel obtained his certification as an EOD Technician in July 2009. He was then stationed at Fort Drum, New York, where he deployed to Iraq in October 2009. During this deployment, he received many awards and recognition along with a promotion to Staff Sergeant and Team Leader certification. He re-enlisted as an EOD Team Leader for an additional 6 years, and was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas. Israel deployed to Afghanistan in March 2012, where he made the ultimate sacrifice in laying his life down for our country.
Israel was best known for his infectious smile, positve energy, spontaneous behavior and unusual sense of humor. He enjoyed spending hours working on his motorcyle to perfect it for long motorcycle runs or leisure rides. Israel was also best known for sharing outdoor experiences and random adventures. He often went mountain biking, hiking, camping, kite boarding and kayaking where ever he resided. With every life experience, music was an integral part of Israel. He used music to share memories, stories and gained meaningful perceptives for personal growth. Israel openly expressed his compassion for the military, where he established and maintained loyal brotherhood relationships worldwide. Although he was strongly connected with his military life, Israel was equally compassionate and truly loved his family. He was a lover of life and had great ambition to share among his family, which usually included random road trips. He extended out to others who were in need and often humbly contributed to various organizations. Israel often said, “Live Well, Love Much and Laugh Often,” in which he naturally expressed in his everyday life.
Israel’s awards and decorations include: Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal with 3 Oakleaf Clusters, Army Good Conduct Medal 4th, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, Iraq Campaign Medal with 3 Bronze Service Stars, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M Device, Non-Commisioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon 2, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon 2nd, NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Basic Badge, Basic Parachutist Badge, Driver and Mechanic Badge, Rifle/Expert Badge.
Israel was preceded in death by his mother, Elizabeth Marie Padilla of Phoenix, Arizona; maternal grandfather, Juan “Johnny” Padilla of Tucson, Arizona; paternal grandparents, Elias Andres and Guadalupe Nuanes of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico; and many military brothers and sisters. He is survived by his loving wife, Rosina Nuanes of Las Cruces, New Mexico; his son, Israel Javier Juan Nuanes, and daughter, Laurissa Marie Nuanes, both of Bayard, New Mexico. In addition, he is survived by his grandmother, Trinidad “Trinie” Garcia; aunt, Betty Gonzales; and cousins, Diane Gonzales and Andy Gonzales Jr. all of Tucson, Arizona. Israel would have also liked to recognize the Lujan family for embracing him as a member of their family. Therefore, he is also survived by Efren and Natalie Lujan along with their children, Edward Lujan, Christina Lujan Boryszewski Cook, Efren Lujan Jr., Clarita Lujan and Samantha Lujan. In addition, he is survived by many friends whom he called brothers and sisters. He will be deeply missed and forever loved.
A public memoriall service is scheduled for Friday, May 25, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum located at 4100 Dripping Springs Rd, Las Cruces, NM 88011. In lieu of flowers, please provide donations to EOD Memorial Foundation (www.eodmemorial.org) or the Wounded EOD Warrior Foundation (www.woundedeodwarrior.org). Arrangements completed by La Paz-Graham’s Funeral home.