Like many communities across the country, Ellis County has experienced the loss of its own veterans in the War on Terror. To honor those who have served and perished in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East since 2001, a tablet will be added to the current monument when remaining funds are raised. Waxahachie and Ellis County look forward to dedicating the addition in recognition of the sacrifice by these veterans on our behalf.
Each year, the Ellis County Veterans Appreciation Day committee selects a veteran as a representative for all who serve. This year’s honoree for their annual Veterans Day ceremony will be a young soldier killed in action by insurgents during Afghanistan deployment in 2011.
1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team,
10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.
Born July 12, 1988 in Fall River Mills, California, Joel Ramirez was born to parents from Guadalajara, Mexico who would later settle in Waxahachie, Texas for the opportunity afforded there. A Varsity soccer star in high school, Joel would contemplate a path of direction for his life following graduation and believed the Army a positive step to pursue.
On September 7, 2009, departing for boot camp at Ft. Benning, Georgia, Joel was the first in his family to join the military and a man proud to wear the uniform. Discovering a natural ability with guns, he would become a designated marksman in the Army – assigned as machine gunner to Weapons Platoon, Attack Company, 1st Battalion of the 32nd Infantry, 10th Mountain Division, Ft. Drum, New York. Although subsequently selected to join the platoon’s elite Scout Snipers, Joel would decide to continue with his present course of duty. He would remain on the front lines, providing security for his unit during patrol. Following a period of leave prior to deployment and placing his life in order, he departed for Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Honoring his commitment and performing his duty, PFC Joel Ramirez died of wounds suffered April 16, 2011, in the Nimroz province of Afghanistan, when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. Deployed to this region for one month at the time of his death, he was 22 years of age. His survivors included a two-year old daughter and family members who remember him dearly as a loving son, brother, father, and a soldier who served his country.
Joel’s life and military commitment were celebrated with full honors on May 1, 2011 at the Waxahachie Civic Center within sight of the veterans memorial. Escorted by the Army, his internment was the family cemetery in Mexico and burial beside his grandfather.
A COMMUNITY WELCOMES HOME AND HONORS ONE OF ITS OWN
“We stand on the backs of their sacrifice. Their history is our tradition,
as long as there are Americans to remember…”
PFC Joel Ramirez was posthumously promoted to Specialist in recognition of his service.
In Gratitude and Remembrance
Ellis County Veterans Appreciation Day
Waxahachie Civic Center
2000 Civic Center Lane
November 9, 2013