Here lives Herminia Ramos, whose son Natividad bears the dubious distinction of being the poorest coalition soldier to die in the Iraq war. "Tivito" fell when the ammunition his superiors had supplied him proved tragically insufficient, forcing the soldiers to use knives to fight the enemy. Four brave soldiers fended off the Iraqi insurgents after Tivito was killed and 12 others were injured, prompting their Spanish-speaking counterparts in their brigade to dub them "Los Guacamayos," a takeoff on their hometown.
Tivito's monthly salary of $120 from the Salvadorian army was crucial for the family's survival. His father died when he was young, and the soldier inherited the role of "man of the house." But now that he is dead, those funds no longer arrive. Unlike the United States, this country does little to compensate the widows or mothers of its fallen soldiers.
This is outrageous!! El Salvador is a poor country, and can not afford to pay this kind of money. But the United States is another story. It is the U.S. government that encouraged the Central American governments to send troops, and we know too well that the justifications given were suspect. And the Salvadorans in particular have acquited themselves incredibly well, with decades of experience due to their recent civil war, they have made great bodyguards.
It is even more outrageous if you think about the money the government is spending (and losing) billions of dollars in questionable "reconstruction" efforts that involve contractors like Halliburton. This poor kid fought with the bravery, tenaciousness and fearlessness, that is the Latin American soldier at his best. His family deserves more from the U.S. government, than flying his body in.