PHOTOS: Late Purple Heart recipient honored with west Bronx street co-naming

Cabrera with the Frias family. Photos by Alex Mitchell
Photos by Alex Mitchell

The corner of W.183rd Street and Grand Avenue is now co-named for a heroic, Purple Heart recipient and Army staff sergeant who showed devotion to America in both his military and civilian life.

He was the late Santiago Frias, who was born and raised at nearby 60 W. 183rd street where he was an active and joyful community member before enlisting in the Army, his family said during the unveiling on Friday morning.

Frias was ambushed during what was called a peacekeeping mission in Kirkuk, Iraq in 2004, where he was credited with saving the lives of two fellow soldiers after still returning fire after being shot multiple times by enemy insurgency.

He survived the ambush and was awarded the Purple Heart by President George W. Bush while recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center by the nation’s capital that same year.

In civilian life following his Army tenure, Frias taught martial arts to youth near West Point in Newburgh before his passing in 2019.

He was 46-years-old.

“I’m honored to co-name this intersection, in the community SSG Frias loved, in remembrance of a true Bronx hero,” said Councilman Fernando Cabrera, who was instrumental in having the street in his district named for Frias. “The new street sign serves as a permanent, public celebration of his sacrifices.”

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