Woman Loses Father and Husband in Iraq

Woman loses dad, husband in Iraq (CNN)

Less than a year ago, Tabitha Bonilla’s father gave his life for his country in Iraq. Last week, her husband gave his, too. Army Capt. Orlando A. Bonilla, 27, of Killeen, Texas, was killed Friday in a helicopter accident in Baghdad. Her father, Army Sgt. 1st Class Henry A. Bacon, 45, died last February in a vehicle accident.

Through tears and long pauses, Orlando Bonilla’s wife — and Henry Bacon’s daughter — tried to “do justice,” as she put it, to the two most important men in her life. “I stand behind my daddy and my husband, and I stand behind the job they had to do, and that’s my take on it,” she said. “I just support them, regardless of who sent them over there and why they sent them over there, no matter whether it’s for right or wrong reasons.”


Tabitha Bonilla’s mechanic father died when he was hit by one vehicle while making repairs on another in Dujayl, Iraq. Bacon, who joined the Army in 1982, had delayed his retirement to serve in the war on terrorism, relatives said. Bacon’s death delayed his son-in-law’s deployment to Iraq, but only for a few months.

How tragic. Many families lost multiple members in major wars of the past, notably the Civil War and World War II. Since Vietnam, though, and the end of conscription, it has to be a rare thing, indeed.

Update: Corrected title to reflect story. The original headline, “Woman Loses Father, Dad” was in the originial CNN Alert and article headline and I just copied it.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Rodney Dill says:

    I must follow the people. Am I not their leader? –Benjamin Disraeli
    –1804-1881, British Statesman, Prime Minister

  2. jen says:

    Your headline is redundant, yet unclear.