Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran Fernando Padilla-Ramirez. Fernando served during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Born in Mexico, Fernando was brought to the United States as a child and grew up in San Luis, Arizona. There, he became fascinated with law enforcement and sought a career as a police officer, joining the Police Explorers Program at the age of 12.
After graduating high school, Fernando enlisted in the United States Marine Corps for four years and later extended his service for another three. After completing his training, Fernando was assigned to Marine Wing Support Squadron-371, Marine Wing Support Group-37 stationed out of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona. He was naturalized as a United States citizen in 2001.
On March 28, 2003 while deployed near the town of Nasiriyah, Iraq in support of operation Iraqi Freedom, Fernando’s convoy was attacked. Fernando went missing in the ensuing battle. His remains were identified on April 10, 2003.
During his service, Fernando reached the rank of sergeant and earned the Purple Heart. He is interred at Sunset Vista Cemetery in Yuma, Arizona. Fernando is remembered as a respectful and driven individual.
We honor his service.
Memorial Day Awareness
This month, the VA’s National Cemetery Administration is partnering with Carry the Load, a nonprofit organization that connects Americans to the sacrifices made daily by the U.S. military, Veterans, first responders and their families to commemorate the “Memorial May” awareness campaign. The VA will share the stories of service members and Veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice in “Veteran of the Day” posts leading up to Memorial Day 2019.
Editor: Geoffrey Townsley
Fact checker: Jordan Gossett
Graphic design: Alexandra Craig