By: Sharon Aron Baron
The City of Tamarac along with the Veterans Affairs Committee will hold its Memorial Day Service to honor all Americans who made the supreme sacrifice with their unselfish devotion in order to defend our heritage of liberty and justice for all.
This year’s keynote speaker will be Master Sergeant Rafael A. Ortiz, U.S. Army (Ret.) Master Sergeant Ortiz served in the U.S. Army for 22 years with the highest degree of honor in a succession of challenging positions.
An Airborne Ranger and Jumpmaster, his service included assignments with the 4th Battalion of the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment; the 82nd Airborne Division, the 173rd Airborne Combat Team, the 20th Engineer Airborne Brigade, and the 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade. While serving as a Squad Infantry Leader with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team he jumped into combat in March of 2003.
Master Sergeant Ortiz served almost five years of operational deployments in support of Operation Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.
His integrity and dedication led to a successful career that culminated with him serving as a Brigade Senior Career Counselor for the 6th Recruiting Brigade.
After his retirement, Master Sergeant Ortiz founded Warfighters R&R, a non-profit organization that focuses on providing mental health treatment, family counseling, and financial planning to combat veterans.
Winners of the “What Memorial Day Means to Me” school essay contest will also be recognized from local elementary schools: Tamarac, Challenger and Renaissance Charter. Also, the award-winning J.P. Taravella High School band will be playing.
The ceremony will be held on Monday, May 27, at 10:30 a.m. Come shake the hands of our heroes who served our country at Veterans Memorial Park located at 7825 Southgate Boulevard. Refreshments served afterward.