Lt. Col. David E. Cabrera

November 26, 1969October 29, 2011

Lieutenant Colonel David E. Cabrera, MSC, U.S. Army On Saturday, October 29, 2011, Army Lt. Col. (Dr.) David E. Cabrera, a licensed clinical social worker and Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU), was killed in action in Afghanistan. Dr. Cabrera was born in Boynton Beach, Florida, and later moved to Houston, Texas, where he graduated from Sam Houston High School in 1988. He earned his undergraduate degree in psychology in 1992 from Texas A&M University in College Station, and was a lifelong Aggie fan. He earned a Master of Science degree in Social Work from the University of Texas, Arlington, and in 2006, he completed his Ph.D. in Social Work at the Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C. He joined the U.S. Army in January 1996 as a Medical Service Corps officer. After his initial training, he was immediately deployed in support of Operation Joint Endeavor/Joint Guard (Hungary, Croatia and Bosnia). He spent more than 15 years on active duty, with assignments in Wurzburg and Heidelberg, Germany; Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC; and twice at Fort Lewis, Washington, where his latter assignment was as the Brigade Behavioral Health Officer for the 3/2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, managing the behavioral health and combat operational stress programs for more than 4,500 soldiers in six battalions and five separate companies. In June 2006, he was deployed with the 3/2 Stryker Brigade to northern Iraq for 5 months. In February, 2010, he joined the faculty of USU in Bethesda, Maryland - the nation's only federal health sciences university - as the Director of Social Work. He held an appointment as Assistant Professor in the USU Department of Family Medicine, where he saw patients, taught third- and fourth-year military medical students, conducted research in the fields of resilience, PTSD and post-traumatic growth, and avidly participated in a number of university field training exercises and activities. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on September 1, 2011, in a small ceremony at USU, surrounded by his family, friends, and close colleagues. He left the U.S. for deployment to Afghanistan on September 30. Just less than one month in-theater, he was killed in action on October 29 in Kabul as a result of a suicide bomb attack on the NATO convoy with which he was riding. Dr. Cabrera's humor, easy-going nature and infectious smile made him popular with family, friends, colleagues, medical students, and patients alike. His dedication to the troops he served throughout his career was evident in his caring and compassionate approach to his work. Dr. Cabrera's research interests also conveyed his commitment to improving the lives of service members, veterans and their families. He was an unstoppable adventurer who traveled the world with his family and friends, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Rainier and other mountain peaks. However, it was the ocean to which he was most drawn, and his love of the sea was evident to all who knew him. He was a truly loving and devoted husband and father, and is survived by his wife, August Cabrera, and sons Maxwell and Roanin Cabrera, of Maryland, son Corbin and daughter Gillian Cabrera, of Texas. He is also survived by his father Robert and step-mother Anita Cabrera, of Texas; sister Darcy Prosser of Florida; brother David Bean of Texas; brother Daniel Cabrera of Texas; brother Paul Hopkins of Washington; sister Renae Martinez of Texas; sister Diane Trifle of Texas; sister Angelina Day of Texas; brother Robert Rivera of Texas; brother Samuel Glosson of Texas; brother Robert Cabrera of Texas; sister Julie Heinze of Texas; brother Kevin Glosson of Texas; brother Michael Cabrera of Texas; mother-in-law Jan Spalding of Arizona; father-in-law and wife, Michael Wegener and Louise Farrar-Wegener of Oregon; and sister-in-law Asia Takeuchi of California. Visitation will be 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Thursday, November 10, 2011, at Earthman Resthaven Funeral Home. Funeral Service will be held 11:11 a.m., Friday, Veteran's Day, November 11, 2011, at Spring Baptist Church, 1027 Spring Cypress, Spring, Texas. A Memorial Service was held at Grace Community Church on November 4, 2011, in Fulton, Maryland, and another will be held in early December in Bethesda, Maryland, at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.


  • Funeral Service

    Friday, November 11, 2011


Lt. Col. David E. Cabrera

have a memory or condolence to add?

LTC Michael J. Fuller

November 10, 2017

I spent the evening of October 28, 2011 with LTC Cabrera and his NCOIC SGT Chris Newman at the BH office at Camp Phoenix. I had gone to BH at the request of my NCOIC in an effort to receive assistance with a problem soldier in my command. I spent almost two hours talking to David and SGT Newman and David assured me that he would review my problem soldier's counseling statements to determine his problem. He indicated he and Newman were leaving the next day to do battlefield circulation for a week and he promised he would address my soldier when he returned. That evening we spoke about a number of topics, one of which was the high casualty rate and death in theater. The conversation turned to religion and what might happen if we were to become casualties, did we profess our belief in God and eternal salvation. We declared that belief amongst us that evening. On the 29th the sirens sounded and announced that an attack had occurred within the KBC. It was not until the following Tuesday that I learned of the passing of David, SGT Newman and everyone else in the Rhino except for the assistant driver. There isn't a day that goes by that I do not think of David and SGT Newman and our conversation that evening. I had been on the exact same convoy route many times and I often wonder why I am here and they aren't. I believe and know in my heart that LTC Cabrera and SGT Newman are in heaven smiling down on all of us that knew them, especially their loved ones.

Bradley Biederman

October 28, 2016

I had the honor of working with LTC David Cabrera, both on a professional and personal level. I was a US Army medic at the base he was traveling to when he died. As a registered nurse, I try to be a fraction of the man he was for my patients, and I carry his name with me on a memorial bracelet. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.

Kim Kirkland

August 9, 2016

I worked with David while we were both attending Texas A&M in 1990-1991. I had no idea what he went on to do and accomplish in the years since then. He was a fun-loving, fun-to-be-around guy with a great attitude about life. I accidentally ran across an article about David and his passing, and couldn't believe my eyes when I saw his picture. My thoughts and prayers to the friends and family he left behind.

COL(ret) Steven Hunte

November 12, 2012

I just read the Washington Post article about LTC David Cabrera and his Family. I remembered his face and think I worked with him while I was at the Pentagon when we were working on the planning to increase the Mental Health providers on installations. The article reveal so much more that I did not know about him as a man, husband, and father. He is an inspiration to us all. I hope I can have an impact like him someday. God bless LTC Cabrera, his Family, and his friends.

Peggy Childers

October 23, 2012

To the family of Lt. Col. David E. Cabrera:
David gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."

June 17, 2012

As a fellow social worker, I would like to express my sorrow for the loss of Lt.Col. David Cabrera to his family, and friends & others affected by this.

LTC Chris Whittaker

December 2, 2011

Our condolences to a fellow officer serving his country!

Lynne Neibert

November 22, 2011

Prayer Shawls 4 Fallen Soldiers ( is an organization with groups throughout the country who strive to send handmade prayer shawls and/ or lap robes to families who have lost a loved one in service to our country. Members of Trindle Spring Lutheran Church in Mechanicsburg, PA would like to honor your husband's sacrifice and memory by sending our prayers and comfort through a shawl which we will mail to you. If you are interested, please contact me at with the names and addresses and what they would like to receive. We will send them as soon as possible. Also, if you know of any other families who are grieving the loss of a loved one who died serving our country, please pass along my e-mail address, as our organization can no longer get family contacts through the military. May God bless you and comfort you in the days ahead. Sincerely, Lynne


November 20, 2011

Dear Cabrera family,

My thoughts and prayers are always with you.

For you every single soldier
Those who served so honorable
Your life was forever altered
While I'm home safe and free
I stand with grateful admiration
I stand respectful and so proud
I know I'm only a civilian
And I don't even know if it's allowed

But I salute you; allow me the honor
to salute you with permission let me say
Even though I hold no rank know that from my heart
My humble gratitude comes from the deepest part.
I salute you.

For those missing in action;
for those who didn't make it home.
I know you're in God's presence you are not alone.
For every neatly folded flag;
for every shattered family
I will do the only thing I know to dignify your memory.

I salute you, allow me the honor
to salute you with permission let me say
even though I hold no rank know that from my heart
my humble gratitude comes from the deepest part.

I salute you.

I Salute You.

Suzanne MacDaniel - A Proud Aunt
Colonie, NY
SGT. David M.Fisher
KIA 12/1/04 - Iraq

Lorri Picha

November 19, 2011

Dave was kind, courageous, outgoing, energetic, and smart. I greatly admired him and was in awe of his contagious smile and confidence. He was a very special man. My condolences to his family. You are in my thoughts and prayers.