Domingo Arroyo Jr.
|Domingo Arroyo Jr.|
March 7, 1971|
Caguas, Puerto Rico
January 13, 1993 (aged 21)|
|Place of burial||Puerto Rico National Cemetery in Bayamón, Puerto Rico|
|Service/||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1989-1993|
|Rank||Private first class|
|Unit||3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division|
Operation Desert Storm|
Somalian Civil War
Domingo Arroyo Jr. (March 7, 1971 – January 13, 1993) was a United States Marine who was the first American serviceman to be killed in Operation Restore Hope during the Somalian Civil War. He was also the first Puerto Rican killed in the conflict. Senator William Warren "Bill" Bradley and the United States Senate paid tribute to Arroyo Jr. and the men of the 1st Marine Division honored his memory by naming their camp "Camp Arroyo" in Somalia and a beach which is several hundred yards southeast of the Mogadishu Airport "Arroyo Beach".
Arroyo was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico. His family moved to mainland United States June 15, 1984, in search of a better way of life. They moved to the city of Elizabeth, New Jersey, where Arroyo received his primary and secondary educations. In his senior year at Elizabeth High School, he enlisted as a "poolee". Even though he graduated with good grades from high school and his family was keen for him to attend college, he was unable to do so because of his family's difficult economic situation.
In 1989, Arroyo joined the United States Marine Corps and was sent to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in South Carolina where he received recruit training. Upon the completion of recruit training, he was deployed with his unit to the Persian Gulf for Operation Desert Storm. After finishing his tour of duty, he was reassigned and sent back to the United States. Arroyo had plans of attending college upon his military discharge with the benefits of the GI Bill.
Somalian Civil War
With the outbreak of the Somalian Civil War, Arroyo, a radio wireman, was sent to Somalia in the relief effort code named Operation Restore Hope with the 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. On January 12, 1993, he was part of a patrol in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, that was ambushed by Somali gunmen.
PFC Domingo Arroyo died from gunshot wounds received in the attack, thus becoming the first of forty four American soldiers and Marines that would die during the Somalian Civil War. He was buried in the Puerto Rico National Cemetery located in the city of Bayamon, Puerto Rico with full military honors.
United States Senate
Mr. President, on January 20, 1993, Pfc. Domingo Arroyo Jr. of Elizabeth, NJ, became the first United States soldier to be killed in the Somalian relief effort. Private Arroyo, who expected to be discharged shortly from the Marines after 4 years of active duty that included Operation Desert Storm, was part of a patrol that was ambushed by Somali gunmen.
Domingo was born in Puerto Rico. Living in New Jersey most of his life, he came from a close-knit family and was liked and respected by his teachers, friends, and neighbors. The reasons he gave for joining the Marines were moral and selfless. He wanted to help others, he wanted a college education in order to better himself, and he wanted to provide his mother with more desirable living conditions.
A true American, Domingo gave his life in another country, protecting its destitute, defenseless people. In his dedication to his country, to his family, and to his high ideals, he represents the best of our Nation's youth. I mourn his loss. Domingo will be remembered as a hero and honored for his selfless bravery.At this very sad time, Mr. President, I ask my colleagues to join me in expressing our deepest sympathy to the family of Domingo Arroyo Jr.
The men of the 1st Marine Division honored his memory by naming their camp "Camp Arroyo" in Somalia and a beach which is several hundred yards southeast of the Mogadishu Airport "Arroyo Beach". His name is inscribed in "El Monumento de la Recordación" (Monument of Remembrance), dedicated to Puerto Rico's fallen soldiers and situated in front of the Capitol Building in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Awards and decorations
- List of Puerto Ricans
- List of Puerto Rican military personnel
- Hispanics in the United States Marine Corps
- The term poolee refers to a small number of recruits who sign up before they are eligible to report to training camp.
- Nieves, New York Times, 1993.
- Hackworth, "Defending America", 1995.
- "New Jersey Marine Buried", New York Times, 1993.
- Bradley, Congressional Record, 1993, page S1691.
- "Zomalia (1993)", 'El Monumento de la Recordación.
- Bradley, Senator Bill (1993-02-17). "The Passing of Private First Class Domingo Arroyo, Jor, of Elizabeth NJ". Congressional Record. United States Senate.
- Hackworth, David H. (1995-03-07). "Defending America".
- Carter, Phillip (1993-01-22). "New Jersey Marine Buried". New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
- Nieves, Evelyn (1993-01-19). "Recalling Big Dreams of the First Marine to Die in Somalia". New York Times.
- "San Juan: Monumento de la Recordación". Archived from the original on 2007-08-18.
- Puertorriquenos Who Served With Guts, Glory, and Honor. Fighting to Defend a Nation Not Completely Their Own; by : Greg Boudonck; ISBN 978-1497421837