Known as “Big Lou” in Raider Company of the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, Spc. Luis Herrera of Marion, North Carolina, was killed Thursday in a military vehicle accident during what the Army described as “routine military training” on Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
“Our thoughts and prayers, along with the Paratroopers of ‘Geronimo’ 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, are with Spc. Herrera’s wife and loved ones as we mourn the loss of Luis,” said Capt. Daigoroh Abreu, his company commander, in a release from XVIII Airborne Corps. “‘Big Lou’s’ presence was a gift to us all, and his radiant smile brought warmth to all who knew him.”
Herrera, 23, was an 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper assigned to Raider Company, 2nd Battalion of the 501st.
“Spc. Herrera was an exceptional Paratrooper and an engaged friend to all those who knew him. Luis was a Soldier’s Soldier who always led by example and never missed a chance to leave a positive impact on those around him,” said Col. Theodore Kleisner, commander of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. “Our brigade was made better by the selfless service of Spc. Herrera.”
Herrera enlisted into the Army in November 2017 as an infantryman and deployed twice to Kuwait. His military awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, two Army Achievement Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and the Parachutist Badge.
Herrera is survived by his wife, family, and parents.
Three additional soldiers were involved in the accident, two of whom were admitted to Womack Army Medical Center on base.
The accident is under investigation, according to an Army release.
Fort Bragg is home to approximately 57,000 military members and 23,000 family members, according to an Army information page. The XVIII Airborne Corps, which is headquartered at Fort Bragg, is the umbrella command over the Army’s rapidly deployable conventional infantry forces, including the 3rd Infantry Division, the 10th Mountain Division, the 101st Airborne Division, and the 82nd Airborne Division, which is also located at Fort Bragg. The sprawling base in North Carolina is also home to a wide range of special operations units, including US Army Special Operations Command.