Gonzalez, Christopher Neil, Army Sgt. 5-16-07

Navajo soldier dies in Iraq 5-16-07
PHOENIX (AP) - A soldier from the Navajo Nation has died serving in Iraq, his family said Tuesday.

Army Sgt. Christopher Neil Gonzalez, 25, of Birdsprings, Ariz., was killed Monday, though the Department of Defense has not confirmed his death.

Leonard Chee, a delegate to the Navajo Nation Council, said in a statement the entire Navajo community was in shock.

“This war has really hit home. Say a prayer for all our Navajo Native American soldiers who are in Iraq fighting,” Chee said.

According to Chee, Gonzalez was carrying out his second tour of duty in Iraq and left behind a wife and child. Survivors also include Gonzalez's mother, Judy Nez of Birdsprings.

Details on funeral services were not known.

Navajo President Joe Shirley issued a proclamation Tuesday in honor and in recognition of the soldier. Shirley also ordered flags on the Navajo Nation flown at half-staff through Sunday in honor of Gonzalez.