Local Silver Star recipient featured as Veteran of the Day

Juan Rubio is a hero. His Silver Star is proof of that. Friday, Rubio was recognized as the Veteran of the Day by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

A post on the department’s Facebook page reads as follows:

“Today’s ‪#‎VeteranOfTheDay‬ is Juan Rubio, a Hospital Corpsman with 1st Marine Division. Juan served the United States Navy from 1999-2008 and was awarded the Purple Heart and Silver Star Medals for gallantry in the face of an enemy ambush on Jan. 1, 2005, in western Iraq.

Despite having multiple wounds himself, Juan bravely and selflessly cared for three critically wounded Marines and organized their evacuation from a chaotic and dangerous firefight.

Juan has since retired from the Navy and made his home in Texas.

Thank you for your service, Doc! Corpsman up!”

Rubio, a San Angelo native, said in a telephone interview Saturday that he’s honored to receive the recognition.

“It’s a blessing in disguise. It’s overwhelming really.” he said. “For at least two years, I’ve been following the page on Facebook, reading about other veterans. When I looked today, it had more than 1,100 likes and over 300 comments with people congratulating me and saying thank you for my service.”

By 11 a.m. Saturday, the post almost 1,500 shares.

“It makes me proud to be an American and a veteran.” Rubio said.

As a corpsman in the United States Navy, Rubio received his Silver Star on April 27, 2006, at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi. The honor was presented to him for conspicuous gallantry against the enemy Jan. 1, 2005, while serving as a Marine platoon corpsman in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, according to a story on navy.mil.

The Silver Star is one Navy’s of the highest awards for gallantry in combat, third following the Navy Cross and the nation’s highest award, the Medal of Honor.

Rubio is also a Purple Heart recipient. He received that honor for injuries received while serving with the 4th Platoon, Small Craft Company, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Forces Central Command.

Although, he’s since retired from the Navy, Rubio continues service to his community and local veterans.

“I know the transition from active duty to civilian life. It was hard for me.” Rubio said. “I found my purpose in helping others and knowing that when there are veterans with hardships, there’s someone there to help.”

Rubio said that he, along with other local veterans and organizations including the VFW, DAV, the Military Order of the Purple Heart and All Veterans Council work to help local and area veterans get back on their feet and reassure them that they are not alone. Additionally, he volunteers his time with the Texas Workforce Commission veteran’s services to help veterans making the transition from active duty service to the civilian workforce.

Rubio said the Military Order of the Purple Heart local chapter doesn’t just help Purple Heart recipients, they help with all veterans.

“It helps me to help other veterans.” he said.

How you can help local veterans

The Military Order of the Purple Heart local chapter’s biggest fundraiser for the year is planned for June 2016. Rubio said 95 percent of all proceeds benefit local veterans services and five percent will go to administrative costs.

What: Military Order of the Purple Heart golf tournament

When: June 2016

Where: Quicksand Golf Course, 2305 Pulliam St.

Contact: For times, date and registration information, call Rubio at 325-227-2051.