LUBBOCK, Texas – Reynaldo Flores is a Lubbock native and a graduate of the former Dunbar High School.
“I think I was a freshman in college working a couple of jobs and I was just looking to do something positive,” said Flores. “Something that would take me in the right direction.”
The decision led Flores to join the United States Army where he was eventually deployed to Iraq for combat duty with the First Calvary Division from Fort Hood.
“We arrived there April 1, 2004,” said Flores.
On April 4, Flores’ team was ambushed by enemy forces in Sadr City, Iraq.
“Things escalated pretty bad and pretty fast,” Flores said. “A company got pinned down and we were alerted to pull them out.”
Eight American soldiers were killed and over 50 more were injured. The attack would later be known as “Black Sunday.”
“The IED fragmentation hit the side of my body and then I took an AK-47 round,” said Flores.
Israel Garza of Lubbock was also killed in the April 4 ambush.
“He happened to die right next to me,” Flores said.
Flores currently suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, as a result from the attack.
“I’ve been disabled for 12 years for injuries I sustained,” said Flores.
The events from Black Sunday would later be retold in The Long Road Home, a New York Times bestseller written by ABC correspondent Martha Raddatz. The ambush was also recreated in a television mini-series for National Geographic.
Flores said he is grateful for the recognition he has received over the years, but he continues to wish that all of his “brothers” would have returned home with him alive.
“They were just good people. They were married. They were young and they had families,” said Flores. “It was just a very unfortunate thing but that’s the cost of freedom.”