Staff Sergeant Vacho was a 1995 graduate of Ladysmith Wisconsin High School. In high school he was on the football team and the school newspaper staff. He also was a member of the civil air patrol. He attended Lake Superior College in Duluth Minnesota and was certified as a licensed practical nurse.
He began his Army career March 24, 1998, when he enlisted into the Army Reserve as a military firefighter. His military training and experience in the civil air patrol during high school prepared him for his first unit assignment with the 336th Engineer Platoon, Duluth, Minn. He served with the engineer unit in Minnesota for four years before transitioning into the Army medical career field in 2002. He was assigned to the 330th Medical Brigade, Madison, Wis. He attended the 52-week residence Practical Nurse Course at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and successfully graduated in spring of 2003. Later in 2005, Vacho completed the Army Emergency Technician Refresher Course.
Nine years into his military career, Vacho received reassignment orders to USACAPOC (A). He mobilized in his health care specialist position and deployed with his assigned unit from Tennessee the 489th CA Bn. Only two weeks after his deployment into Iraq, Vacho was killed in action at the age of 29 by known enemies of the United States of America. His military training includes Basic Combat Training, Firefighter Course, Practical Nurse Course and the Emergency Medical Technician Refresher Course. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” Device, Army Service Ribbon and the Expert Weapons Qualification Badge.
Vacho was posthumously promoted to staff sergeant and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon and the Combat Action Badge. Nathan was planning on serving 20 years. He headed overseas on April 25, 2006. Nathan is survived by his wife Amanda and two daughters, ages 2 and 10; his father John, mother Carol, a sister Ashley and his first wife Lisa.
Nathan’s paternal grandfather: Anthony Vacho
VACHO, NATHAN J
SSG US ARMY
DATE OF BIRTH: 04/04/1977
DATE OF DEATH: 05/05/2006
RIVERSIDE CEMETERY LADYSMITH, WI 54848
29, of Janesville, Wis.; assigned to the 489th Civil Affairs Battalion, Army Reserve, Knoxville, Tenn.; attached to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division; killed May 5 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during combat operations in Baghdad. Also killed were: 1st. Sgt. Carlos N. Saenz and Spc. Teodoro Torres.