Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia Honors Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran Ramon Castro as 56th District’s 2015 Veteran of the Year

Thursday, June 25, 2015

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Brawley resident Ramon Castro was honored today by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia as the 56th Assembly District’s “2015 Veteran of the Year.”  The Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran traveled to Sacramento with his family to attend the Veterans Recognition Luncheon with Garcia held at the Sacramento Convention Center.

“Ramon has valiantly fought for our country while serving in the United Stated Marine Corps, and has continued to dedicate his life by helping local veterans in the Imperial County,” said Assemblymember Garcia.  “I applaud his honorable and faithful service.”

Ramon Castro served in the United Stated Marine Corps from 1996-2003, and did one tour in Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Mr. Castro earned the rank of Sergeant and received several letters of commendation, the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Iraq Freedom Campaign Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, the Meritorious Mast, and the Rifle Marksmanship Badge.

After his honorable discharge in 2003, Mr. Castro moved back home to the City of Brawley with his wife and their young family and joined the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.  He soon completed his 5 year apprenticeship program through the Helmets to Hardhats program and became a Certified Journeyman Electrician, where he discovered his passion for helping others and began working with local workforce development agencies in recruiting more electricians to the region.

Through his many collaborative efforts, Mr. Castro observed the lack of resources for local Veterans and got involved with community based organizations in order to improve the quality of life for Veterans in the Imperial County.  Mr. Castro organized a Veteran Informational Seminar to help Veterans access their benefits and explain opportunities that are available through the State and Federal government that provide support for Veterans in the Valley.

Due to the success of the first Veteran Informational Seminar, Mr. Castro and his colleagues are now hosting a second seminar that is scheduled for this Saturday, June 27, 2015 in the City of Imperial.  The group is looking at bringing in more Veterans and their family members to learn more about their issues and needs.

“I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the brave men and women that served with me in Operation Iraqi Freedom.  I’m truly humbled to receive this award today from Assemblyman Garcia. Simply lending a helping hand, providing a shoulder to lean on or listening without judging can make a world of difference to our Veterans,” said Mr. Castro.

Mr. Castro continues to be a Certified Journeyman Electrician and organizer with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers where he actively promotes the Helmets to Hardhats program to bring in more Veterans into the construction trades. He is also a member of the City of Brawley’s Veterans Honor Wall Committee.

The Veteran of the Year Luncheon is sponsored in part by the American Legion, Department of California, AMVETS, Department of California, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of California, and Vietnam Veterans of America, California State Council.

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Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) serves as the Chairperson of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy.  He represents the 56th district, which comprises the cities and communities of Blythe, Brawley, Bermuda Dunes, Calexico, Calipatria, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, El Centro, Holtville, Imperial, Indio, Mecca, Oasis, North Shore, Salton Sea, Thermal, Thousand Palms, and Westmorland.