With his parents’ permission, Antonio Ruiz De La Torre enlisted with the Marine Corps in 2000 at the age of 17. After completing basic training, he 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 returned to Camp Pendleton, assigned to the 39th Marine Aircraft Group.
In 2003, de la Torre and his division deployed to Kuwait in preparation for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Immediately following the invasion of Iraq, de la Torre and his unit built forward refueling stations and forward operating bases. While establishing these forward points, de la Torre and his fellow Marines faced opposition from the enemy, which resulted in several casualties over their deployment.
For actions during his service, Antonio received a Presidential Unit Citation and several certificates of commendation.
The Marine Corps discharged de la Torre in 2004 at the rank of corporal.
More on his story can be found at: https://memory.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/story/loc.natlib.afc2001001.31834/
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Fact checker: Kat Blanchard