NEWARK, N.J. (CBS 2) — A New Jersey man who risked his life day after day is being remembered for making the ultimate sacrifice. The Essex County Sheriff’s officer was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan.
Jorge Oliveira was expecting to come home next March. Instead, the 33-year-old staff sergeant with the New Jersey National Guard on his third tour of duty was killed on Wednesday. He was also an 11-year veteran at the Essex County Sheriff’s office, working the dangerous Fugitive Squad.
“He had a perfect attendance record, every year since he’s been here. Never took a sick day,” Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura told CBS 2′s John Slattery.
Oliveira was deployed in March with 58 other guardsmen. He had also served in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. Oliveira lived in the Ironbound section of Newark with his parents and his brother, where friends paid their condolences on Thursday.
“A nice boy, nice friends/family,” an emotional Connie Carredo said.
At a local restaurant, patrons who know the family shared the pain and mourned the loss.
“I know the daddy, the mommy,” family friend Reinro Silva said. “This is good people, good people. This is really good people.”
At the office where he worked, flags were lowered to half staff. The sheriff spoke to Oliveira when he last shipped out in March, knowing it was his third tour.
“I said ‘we don’t want to push our luck. You get back here quickly. And he said ‘boss please don’t worry, you know how much I love this job. I’ll be back here soon and I’ll get back to work as soon as I can,’” Fontoura said.
Staff Sergeant Oliveira is the 140th service member with ties to New Jersey to die in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Share your thoughts in the comments section…