LDS Marine killed in action

OCEANSIDE, CALIF.

Marine Corporal Julio Vargas of the Oceanside 3rd Ward, Carlsbad California Stake, was killed by a roadside bomb on Tuesday, July 20, in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan.

Brother Vargas, 23, who served in the Texas McAllen Mission prior to his military service, married Rosita Salgado in the Los Angeles California Temple last December. She had served a mission in El Salvador San Salvador West Mission.

Sister Vargas spoke of her faith and of the faith of her husband during a Church News telephone interview a week after her husband’s death.

“The thing that has helped me is knowing that we are sealed together for time and eternity,” she said. “I know Julio had done everything God had planned for him to do on this earth.”

She said comfort also comes from knowing he was loved and was happy to serve his country in the military.

The son of Agustin and Enedelia Vargas of Sylmar, Calif., Julio Vargas was stationed out of Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego.

A vehicle gunner assigned to the 3rd Assualt Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Brother Vargas enlisted in the Marines in February 2008. He was serving his first combat deployment, which was scheduled to end in September.

His personal service awards include the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Upon Brother Vargas’ death, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a statement: “Maria and I were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Corporal Julio Vargas. He was a real-life hero, one of our nation’s bravest individuals, and his service and sacrifice in the name of freedom will not be forgotten. We extend our sincere condolences to Julio’s family and loved ones as they reflect on the life of this courageous Marine.”

In honor of the fallen soldier, the governor ordered flags at the state Capitol in Sacramento to be flown at half-staff Thursday, July 22.