Mr. HAGEL. Mr. Presdient, I wish to express my sympathy over the loss of U.S. Army captain Robert Yllescas. Captain Yllescas, a native Guatemalan and graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, died on December 1 from injuries he sustained from an improvised explosive device in the mountains of Afghanistan on October 28. He was 31 years old.
After spending the first 18 years of his life in Guatemala, Captain Yllescas moved to Nebraska, where he enrolled in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and joined the ROTC. He married his wife Dena in her hometown of Osceola, NE. A graduate of Army Ranger school, Captain Yllescas' service included two tours of duty in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, where he proved to be an exemplary leader. As the commander of B Troop, 6-4 Cavalry of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, he led 90 U.S. and 200 Afghan soldiers in Nuristan province. He was awarded the Purple Heart by President Bush on November 10.
All of Nebraska is proud of Captain Yllescas' service to our country, as well as the thousands of brave men and women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Captain Yllescas is remembered as a devoted husband, father, and son. In addition to his wife Dena, he is survived by his daughters, Julia, 7, and Eva, 10 months; and parents Otto and Barb.
I ask my colleagues to join me and all Americans in honoring U.S. Army CPT Robert Yllescas.