U.S. ARMY SOLDIER WALKS 400 MILES FOR 9/11 HEROES

U.S. ARMY SOLDIER WALKS 400 MILES FOR 9/11 HEROES



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Ft. Bragg, NC–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–September 11, 2000–U.S. Army soldier, Julio Ramirez, determined to raise money for firefighters who risked their lives on 9/11 and their families, finished his 400-mile walk around the perimeter of Puerto Rico this morning at 8:46 a.m.-the precise moment that the World Trade Center Towers were struck one year ago.

“My wish is to help the brave men and women who risked their lives for us that tragic day last September,” said Sergeant First Class Julio Ramirez. “Through this walk around Puerto Rico, we hope to raise money that is desperately needed to buy equipment and keep the firefighting units prepared for emergency situations.”

Sergeant Ramirez, along with three friends, Sergeant First Class Larry W. Hemingway, Vilma Fortis and Mark Person began their long trek on September 1s in San Juan, putting in forty-mile days on foot, accepting the kindness of strangers along the route who fed them fruit and offered dollar bills when they were too poor to give much else. Each night the group of four camped out or stayed at island hurricane shelters along the way, rising early the next morning to continue their difficult walk.

“This is nothing compared to what our country’s firefighters and rescue workers went through last year,” says Sgt. Ramirez. “It is the least I can do to give back to my country that I serve proudly every day. In fact, the proudest day of my life was when I visited Ground Zero last November and was stopped by at least a dozen people who wanted to talk to me, because I was in my Army uniform. That was when the seed of this idea was planted.”

The walk for firefighters finishes up at El Morro Castle in Old San Juan where the Mayor of San Juan has invited Sergeant Ramirez and the rest of the group to participate in a solemn commemoration of the victims of 9/11. He hopes to continue to raise money for the nation’s firefighters through donations of U.S. citizens.

According to Sgt. Ramirez, there is a fund established at the Ft. Bragg Credit Union called the “Cinco de Mayo 10K” and contributions are being accepted in Account # 431967253, P.O. Box 70240, Ft. Bragg, NC 28307. He says that all donations will go to the New York City Fire Department, the Cameron, North Carolina Fire Department and the Ceiba, Puerto Rico Fire Department.

“Each day as I walk,” says Sgt. Ramirez, “I think about those people who suffered so much at the hands of the terrorists. It is what made me strong enough to finish the walk. We want those families who lost loved ones to the World Trade Center disaster to know that we care.”

Sergeant First Class Julio Ramirez is a 40-year old professional soldier in the United States Army. The father of four young children, Julio enlisted in 1985 and is currently stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC, where he works as an evaluator at the warfare school on the Army base.

Sgt. Ramirez took personal leave in order to partake in this walk. His passion for the cause and sense of obligation to honor America’s fallen heroes motivated him to lead this effort.

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CONTACT:

Lorraine Pulido-Ramirez

210.892.0759

U.S. ARMY SOLDIER WALKS 400 MILES FOR 9/11 HEROES