Alejandro “Alex” G. Peña

1951 - 2017

Vietnam War

Their Story

Alejandro G. Peña (Alex) was born June 10, 1951, in Davenport, Iowa, the son of Genaro and Marie (Lopez) Pena.[1]

Alex attended Assumption High School in Davenport, Iowa, graduating in 1969. He was an athlete and lettered in baseball, football, and track.

After high school, Alex joined the Army and earned the Green Beret.[2]  He was assigned to 1st Special Forces Group – Airborne. He also was in the 101st Airborne and 75th Ranger Regiment in Vietnam. He was a part of a five-man team performing long-range reconnaissance patrols and rescue missions. These teams were referred to as LRRPs.

Typical missions of LRRPs included reconnaissance, enemy harassment, ambushes, prisoner snatches, raids, calling in air strikes and rescue operations.

Alex’s service in Vietnam earned him at least three medals: The National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Vietnam Service Medal.

He also earned the Expert Marksman Badge and Airborne Jump Wings.  His cap badge bears the motto of the Special Forces, “De Opresso Liberato” – Liberating the Oppressed.

After Alex returned home from Vietnam he worked as a carpenter with Local #4 and the Corps of Engineers.[3] During his time with the Corps of Engineers he saw duty in Afghanistan. Alex retired in 2012.

Alex was a member of Pheasants Forever, and was an avid outdoors man who loved hunting, archery, and working out. He loved music, collecting albums, and attending numerous shows and concerts over the years. He was a big Iowa Hawkeyes fan.

Alexa passed away on October 18, 2017.

Alex is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Alex and Laura Pena of Davenport, two daughters and a son-in-law, Melissa and Nick Morra of Latham, New York, and Shaina Pena of Ravena, New York; five grandchildren, Zoie and Isaiah Pena, Mason and Isabella Morra, and Harper Pena; and siblings, Fernando and Debbie Pena of Dixon, Iowa, Frank and Diane Pena of Arizona, and Stephanie Pena of East Moline; and several nieces and nephews, who he treated like they were his own children. He was preceded in death by his parents and a niece, Francisca “Mancha” Iossi.

Alex 1969
Airborne Training
Alex with his Grandson Isaiah
Alex Later in Life

[1] Alejandro G. Pena (1951-2017) – Find a Grave Memorial

[2] Interviews with Alex Pena (Son) May 2022. Pictures provided by Alex Pena.

[3] Obituary for Alejandro G. Pena, 1951-2017 (Aged 66) –



Interviews with Alex Pena (Son) May 2022. Pictures provided by Alex Pena.

Wikipedia contributors, “1st Special Forces Group (United States),” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,  1st Special Forces Group (United States) – Wikipedia (accessed May 11, 2022).

Find a Grave, database and images  Alejandro G. Pena (1951-2017) – Find a Grave Memorial: accessed 19 March 2022), memorial page for Alejandro G. Pena (10 Jun 1951–18 Oct 2017), Find a Grave Memorial ID 184448430, citing Rock Island National Cemetery, Rock Island, Rock Island County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Ken Nagel (contributor 47221898).

The Dispatch, Moline, Illinois, 21 Oct 2017, Sat,  Page A4

Obituary for Alejandro G. Pena, 1951-2017 (Aged 66) –  (Accessed May 11, 2022)

The SOFREP Media Group  US Army Special Forces “Green Berets” | The Complete Guide | SOFREP(Accessed May 19, 2022)