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Face of Defense: Mechanic Sees to Fellow Soldiers’ Welfare

By Spc. Vernon Stone, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

CAMP TAJI, Iraq, Nov. 26, 2007 – While all 1st Air Cavalry Brigade soldiers may be focused on the mission, one noncommissioned officer in particular has given his all toward mission success, leading and caring for his soldiers while deployed to Iraq.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Sgt. Jonathan Ruiz, Headquarters Support Company, 615th Aviation Support Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, looks up technical manuals to help one of his soldiers learn how to repair a part. Photo by Spc. Vernon Stone, USA

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Army Sgt. Jonathan Ruiz, 23, a mechanic for Headquarters Support Company, 615th Aviation Support Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry “Warrior” Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, is one of the many soldiers who are doing all they can for the Army.

Ruiz’s care for soldiers was perhaps most evident when he took steps in September to prevent a depressed soldier from jumping from a moving vehicle in a suicide attempt. He was recognized for his actions by the brigade commander in September.

Ruiz, who calls Spring, Texas, home, joined the Army in 2003 to serve his country and to get money for college. Before arriving at Fort Hood in 2006, he was stationed at Camp Humphreys, South Korea. While deployed to Iraq, Ruiz worked on getting promoted to the noncommissioned officer corps and achieved the rank of sergeant May 1.

“Although he is a young NCO, he is … dedicated to his solders and his job,” said Sgt. Elliott Bottom, of Danville, Ky., one of Ruiz’s fellow NCOs from HSC, 615th ASB. “He is always concerned about the welfare of his peers and subordinates.”

Ruiz’s soldiers have taken notice of his leadership ability.

“He influences me to stay out of trouble and keep the right attitude,” said Los Angeles native Pfc. Johnson Manson, from HSC, 615th ASB.

Ruiz said he plans to purchase a house with his wife, Amy, upon redeployment to Fort Hood, Texas, and to make a career of the Army.

(Spc. Vernon Stone serves with the 615th Aviation Support Battalion.)

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