Keurig Dr Pepper and Military Warriors Support Foundation (MWSF) will honor one of the nation’s combat-wounded heroes, retired U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Juan ‘Carlos’ Ortiz, at a the Denison Walmart on Veterans Day – Monday, November 11 - where he will be recognized for his service and sacrifice to the country.
Ortiz will be presented with the ceremonial key to his 100 percent payment-free Ford Escape.
The vehicle was generously donated and sponsored by Walmart and Keurig Dr Pepper to Military Warriors Support Foundation’s Transportation4Heroes program.
In addition to the vehicle, Ortiz will receive one year of Family and Financial Mentorship.
The presentation will be made at 2 p.m. on Monday. The public is invited and veterans are especially invited to attend.
Ortiz joined the Marine Corps in Des Moines in 2002. He always wanted to be a Marine, part of something greater than himself. Ortiz would travel to California, Japan and back again to California for training prior to his deployment to Afghanistan.
Right before that deployment, his unit’s orders were changed, and the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines was instead deployed to Ramadi, Iraq, for Operation Iraqi Freedom 2. The unit arrived in Ramadi in February 2004.
While in Iraq, Ortiz became the recipient of the Purple Heart for being wounded while supporting combat operations.
Ortiz was an infantry assaultman and was fire team leader when he was wounded in Iraq.
After the unit returned to the states, it received the Navy unit commendation.
Ortiz was discharged in the early months of 2006.
Ortiz is also the recipient of the Combat Action Ribbon for his actions while being in direct combat with an enemy force, and he received the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and many other awards.
Taking part in the presentation at Walmart on Monday will be Cathy Crawford, asset manager with Military Warriors Support Foundation, and Mark Romero, sales execution manager with Keurig Dr Pepper.
Ortiz was born in Del Rio, Texas, grew up in Tama and currently lives in Carlisle with his wife, Whitney, and children Domenic, 11, and Eliza, 7.
Now that their children are becoming more self-sufficient, Ortiz and his wife are considering going back to school to find out what they want to do with the rest of their lives.
Ortiz added, “I am also trying to grow my network and hopefully figure out a way I can help other vets struggling with the day to day.”
Military Warriors Support Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, founded by LTG. Leroy Sisco (Ret), in 2007.
The foundation's mission is to provide support and programs that facilitate a smooth and successful transition for thenation’s combat wounded heroes and Gold Star families.
Programs focus on housing and homeownership, recreational activities, transportation assistance and leadership development.
Through the programs, the foundation awards mortgage-free homes and payment-free vehicles to combat wounded heroes and Gold Star spouses. In addition to the home or vehicle, the families receive family and financial mentoring.