It is said that for every person, there is a story to be told. On March 11, 2023, a 100th Birthday ceremony was held at the Post Hall honoring Mr. Joe Juarez, a World War II combat veteran, and a long-time American Legionnaire.
The event was most memorable and well-attended by family, friends, and public officials, including California State Senator Josh Newman, Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva, and Congressmember Lou Correa. My wife, Mona, and I were fortunate to sit at a table in front, which allowed me to observe Mr. Juarez as his biography was read and other remarkable testimonial statements were made.
The first thing that caught my attention was an aura about him that convinced me that Mr. Juarez was an exceptional man who was humble but had an inner strength that carried him to attain significant achievements during his long life, not only in combat but in his civilian life. Several of us younger veterans (in our middle to late 70s) were fortunate to have a conversation with him and found him to have a great sense of humor. He shared with us that when his unit was at base camp on an island, it was so hot that the men walked around in only underwear and boots, which was out of the ordinary, as there was the standing order on always being in uniform. He did not mention anything about the many battles he was in, and out of respect, we did not ask.
The interaction again convinced me that Mr. Juarez was a remarkable man who had no fear of facing challenging obstacles both in combat and civilian situations. Above all, I learned about his passionate love for his family and country. March 11, 2023, indeed, was a most memorable day for Mr. Juarez and all who were privileged to attend his 100th Birthday celebration. It was evident during the event that there was much love for Mr. Juarez and that we were blessed with the opportunity to share such a special day with him.
In the end, as he concluded his personal comments, he said, “Now that I’m 100 years old, I’m ready for the next round.”
A TRULY REMARKABLE MAN……. For God and Country, Richard M. Ramirez, Ed.D.