Army Private First Class Barbara Vieyra died from wounds suffered on September 18 after her U.S. Army military police unit was attacked with an improvised explosive device and rocket-propelled grenade fire in Kunar province, Afghanistan.
Pfc. Vieyra is survived by her 3-year-old daughter Evelyn; parents Raul and Elizabeth; sister Guadalupe; brother Roberto, and grandparents Roberto and Leovigilda. The first woman from the southeast valley to be killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, Pfc. Vieyra was buried in her hometown at the Mesa City Cemetery on Saturday, October 2.
Before deploying to Afghanistan in April, Barbara Vieyra grew up on an East Valley dairy farm. Her parents, Raul and Elizabeth, emigrated from Mexico several years before Barbara’s birth in 1988. The first of three children, her father named her after Barbara Feenstra, co-owner of the dairy farm where Raul works to this day as an assistant herdsman.
In 2006, Vieyra graduated from Skyline High School in Mesa. Within a year, she was married and gave birth to her daughter, Evelyn. But the marriage didn’t last. Two years after graduating high school, Vieyra found herself as a single mother and decided to enlist in the Army. According to her sister Guadalupe, Vieyra joined the Army because she wanted a job that would make her daughter proud. She handed the care of her young daughter, Evelyn, to the loving hands of her parents.
Date of entry into Army: April 2008
Deployment: Afghanistan (OEF), April 2010
Unit: 64th Military Police Company, 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade out of Fort Hood, Texas
• Bronze Star
• Purple Heart
• Army Commendation Medal
• Army Good Conduct Medal
• National Defense Service Medal
• Korean Defense Service Medal
• Afghanistan Campaign Medal with combat service star
• Global War of Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
• Global War of Terrorism Service Medal
• Army Service Ribbon
• NATO Medal
• Overseas Service Ribbon
• Combat Action Badge