Santos-Silva was part of the 82nd Airborne Division and he was stationed in Ft. Bragg before he deployed to Afghanistan in August 2009.
He had been in the Army since 1996, but he changed his military occupational specialization from a medical supply specialist to an infantryman in 2000.
"Sergeant 1st Class Santos-Silva was the epitome of a noncommissioned officer, a true standard bearer," said 1st Lt. Matthew Jarmon, Company C executive officer. "He cared deeply about his Paratroopers and they cared deeply about him. His men routinely looked to him for leadership guidance, which he readily gave. He was loved by all in the Battalion and made you proud to serve."
Santos-Silva is survived by his wife Kristen, his son Cameron and his parents Fransisco and Monkia. A memorial will be held in Afghanistan in his honor.