Passing of Jeff Calero, Class of '91, Special Forces Soldier in Afghanistan
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
The St. Francis Prep community regrets to inform you of the passing of your classmate and fellow graduate, Jeffrey R. Calero '91. An Army Special Forces Soldier, Jeff was killed this past Monday, October 29, as a result of an improvised explosive device strike while conducting a combat patrol in the southern Afghan city of Kajaki. Calero, a native of Puerto Rico, earned his commission as an infantry officer after graduating from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. in 1995. He served six years on active duty before joining the U.S. Army National Guard. His first assignment was with the 2nd Infantry Division in the Republic of Korea as a rifle platoon leader and executive officer for 1st Bn., 506th Infantry Regiment. He also served as a rifle platoon leader and headquarters
company executive officer at 4th Ranger Training Battalion, Fort Benning, Georgia. Calero left active duty in 2001 and joined Co. C, 1st Bn., 20th SFG (A). Calero is survived by his father and mother, Raymond and Roselle Calero of Queens; brother, Dennis Calero; sister, Irene; sister, Joyce Crespo; and three nieces, Amelia, Lauren and Claire.
1991 Prep yearbook photo
U.S. Military photo
Our heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to the Calero family. If possible, please join us this Sunday, November 4th, at 11:00 a.m. in the Brother Ralph Clifford Auditorium at St. Francis Prep. Jeff and the other members of the SFP community who passed away this past year will be remembered at the Annual Alumni Memorial Mass.
The Alumni and Development Team at St. Francis Prep
The following was printed in the New York Daily News:
The love of liberty began burning brightly in Jeffrey Calero at an early age. While other kids left the usual and sometimes goofy messages in their high school yearbook, the quote under Calero's name read: "Live free or die." Maj. Jeffrey Calero died Monday when a roadside bomb exploded near him in Kajaki, Afghanistan, while he was on patrol as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, military officials said. The 34-year-old soldier from Queens Village was serving with the 1st Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group of the Massachusetts National Guard based in Springfield. His heartbroken parents said last night the death of their "baby" - the youngest of four children - was almost too hard to take. "The only consolation is that he really believed in what the men are doing over there," said Calero's dad, Ray, 65. "They offered him a promotion several times, but he turned it down to stay with the Special Forces," the father said. Calero, who was born in Puerto Rico and came to the U.S. at the age of 1, attended Incarnation Elementary School in Queens Village, St. Francis Prep in Fresh Meadows, Queens, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he studied mechanical engineering and was a member of the ROTC. Calero, described by friends as a "quiet guy with a subtle sense of humor," came home "as often as he could" to spend time with the family - especially his two nieces, whom he doted on - said his mom, Roselle, 66. "The last time was on the weekend of Oct. 6," said Calero's mom. "We got everybody here and we cooked everything he liked. I'm so glad we did it because he really enjoyed himself." She said she exchanged the last e-mail with her son three days before he died. "I said I love him and he told me he loved me. That was it. And now he's gone," she said, her eyes glistening.