Domingo Arroyo Jr.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Domingo Arroyo)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Domingo Arroyo Jr.
PFC Domingo Arroyo Jr.jpg
Born (1971-03-07)March 7, 1971
Caguas, Puerto Rico
Died January 13, 1993(1993-01-13) (aged 21)
Mogadishu, Somalia
Place of burial Puerto Rico National Cemetery in Bayamón, Puerto Rico
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1989-1993
Rank USMC-E2.svg Private first class
Unit 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division
Battles/wars Operation Desert Storm
Somalian Civil War
Awards Purple Heart ribbon.svg Purple Heart

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".

Early years[edit]

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".[1] 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.[2]

Military service[edit]

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[edit]

Camp Arroyo in Somalia dedicated to PFC Domingo Arroyo

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.[3]

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.[4]

Tributes[edit]

United States Senate[edit]

On February 17, 1993, Senator William Warren "Bill" Bradley and the United States Senate paid tribute to PFC Domingo Arroyo Jr.:

The Passing of Private First Class Domingo Arroyo Jr. of Elizabeth, NJ (Senate – February 17, 1993)
(Page: S1691)

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.[5]

Legacy[edit]

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.[6]

Awards and decorations[edit]

1 Purple Heart Combat Action Ribbon Joint Meritorious Unit Award
2 National Defense Service Medal Southwest Asia Service Medal Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
3 Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia) Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The term poolee refers to a small number of recruits who sign up before they are eligible to report to training camp.
  2. ^ Nieves, New York Times, 1993.
  3. ^ Hackworth, "Defending America", 1995.
  4. ^ "New Jersey Marine Buried", New York Times, 1993.
  5. ^ Bradley, Congressional Record, 1993, page S1691.
  6. ^ "Zomalia (1993)", 'El Monumento de la Recordación.

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Puertorriquenos Who Served With Guts, Glory, and Honor. Fighting to Defend a Nation Not Completely Their Own; by : Greg Boudonck; ISBN 978-1497421837

External links[edit]