Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia Honors Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran

(SACRAMENTO) – Indio resident Ralph Duarte was honored today by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia as the 56th Assembly District’s 2016 Veteran of the Year. The Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran traveled to Sacramento with his wife to attend the veteran’s recognition luncheon which was held at the Sacramento Convention Center.

“Mr. Duarte has distinguished himself not only by his service to our country, but also for his continuing dedication to helping veterans throughout Riverside County,” said Garcia. “I applaud his honorable and faithful service.”

Mr. Ralph Duarte is a former Army Sergeant with more than 5 years of military service in the U.S. Army and California Army National Guard. During his military career he served in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) with the 3rd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment in support of the Global War on Terrorism.

His military education includes; graduation from the Warrior Leadership Course, Ranger School, Airborne School, and the Ranger Indoctrination Program. Mr. Duarte has served as a weapons team leader, assistant gunner, gunner, and rifleman.

Mr. Duarte is a graduate from Coachella Valley High School and obtained his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Phoenix.

As a Veterans’ Services Representative for the County of Riverside Veterans’ Services Department, Mr. Duarte has had the privilege of serving veterans, dependents, and survivors of the Coachella Valley and surrounding areas. .

Despite all of his accomplishments, it is his lifelong commitment to ensure that veterans and their families receive the dignity and service that they have earned by providing counseling, claims assistance, education, advocacy, and outreach services.

Assemblymember Garcia is also planning to hold a local recognition event to honor Mr. Duarte, with details to be released.

The Veteran of the Year Luncheon is sponsored in part by the California State Council of the Vietnam Veterans of America and AmVets, as well as by the Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs.

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Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) serves as the as the chairperson of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy. He represents the 56th district, which comprises the cities and communities of Blythe, Brawley, Bermuda Dunes, Calexico, Calipatria, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, El Centro, Holtville, Imperial, Indio, Mecca, Oasis, North Shore, Salton Sea, Thermal, Thousand Palms, and Westmorland.

CONTACT: Jackie Lopez, 760-347-2360