RELEASE NUMBER: 120427-01
DATE POSTED: APRIL 27, 2012
PRESS RELEASE: U.S. Army Soldier succumbs to cancer
Military Information Support Operations Command Public Affairs
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, April 27, 2012)—A Fort Bragg Soldier died following a battle with cancer in Bakersfield, Calif., April 21.
Staff Sgt. Cristina Lopez-Iusi, 27, was a signal support systems specialist with the 9th Military Information Support Battalion (Airborne), 8th Military Information Support Group (Airborne) (Provisional), at Fort Bragg, N.C.
"Cristina was a dear part of this battalion, an outstanding Soldier, and we grieve for her loss,” said Lt. Col. Herminio Blas-Irizarry, 9th Military Information Support Battalion (Airborne) commander. “She was a faithful patriot whose contributions and memory are greatly valued."
Lopez-Iusi's husband, Sgt. John Paul Iusi, and her brother, Carlos Lopez Jr., were by her side at the time of her death. Her husband is assigned to the 3rd Military Information Support Battalion (Airborne) at Fort Bragg.
Lopez-Iusi graduated from high school in 2003, and enlisted in the U.S. Army in June 2006 as a signal support systems specialist. She attended Basic Training at Fort Jackson, S.C., and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Gordon, Ga.
After graduating from the Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Ga., she was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C., where she served as a signal support systems specialist.
During her Army career, Lopez-Iusi deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2007 with the 82nd Airborne Division and again in 2009 as part of Company B, 9th Military Information Support Battalion (Airborne).
She distinguished herself in multiple battalion and company combat operations while serving as a signal support systems sergeant. Upon redeployment, she was assigned to Headquarters Support Company, 9th Military Information Support Battalion (Airborne).
Her military education includes the Basic Airborne Course and the Warrior Leader's Course.
Lopez-Iusi awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon and the Parachutist Badge.
“Staff Sgt. Cristina Lopez-Iusi was surrounded by the warmth of her family and friends as she concluded her valiant battle against cancer on April 21, 2012. An honorable Soldier, Cristina was also a loving wife, daughter, sister and friend. Born on January 13, 1985 in Tulare, California, she will be laid to rest in her hometown at the Tulare District Cemetery. She is survived by the love of her life, Sgt. John Iusi."