Each day, the VA honors a special military veteran for their dedicated service on their blog, VAntage Point. Today’s veteran is Marine Corps Veteran Antonio Ruiz De La Torre, who built forward refueling stations during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
At age 17, Antonio Ruiz De La Torre got his parents’ permission and enlisted with the Marine Corps in 2000. He completed basic training and attended additional training in supply administration and went to Camp Pendleton, California. He then spent a year at Camp Schwab, Okinawa with the Combat Assault Battalion, 3rd Marine Division. After serving in Okinawa, he then returned to Camp Pendleton and was assigned to the 39th Marine Aircraft Group.
In 2003, de la Torre and his division deployed to Kuwait as preparation for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Following the invasion of Iraq, de la Torre and his unit built forward refueling stations and forward operating bases. While establishing these, de la Torre and his fellow Marines faced enemy opposition, resulting in several casualties.
De la Torre was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation and several certificates of commendation for his actions during his service. He was discharged from the Marine Corps in 2004 at the rank of Corporal.
Thank you for your service!