BY WENDY SCHEURING – Sep 4, 2023 – Senior Life Newspaper
The Army did a lot for him, he likes to tell high school students. And he has made it his life’s mission to give back.
Retired Sgt. First Class Juan Santiago, a Florida Veteran Hall of Fame inductee, recently received a U.S. Army Recruiting Excellence Medallion presented by Lt. Col. Michael Norton at Icon Park in Orlando.
Sgt. First Class Willis Ferguson, who worked at the Army recruiting office in Rockledge from 2014 to 2020, nominated Santiago for the award.
“Juan welcomed me to the team and said he was there to help in any way he could,” he said.
“He went above and beyond to help with recruiting duties. He’s been changing lives since before I met him in 2014.”
Santiago, a Viera resident, served in the U.S. Army for nearly 23 years, including five consecutive tours in Vietnam, and has been volunteering since 2004.
“They asked Juan to be a part of their team,” said Santiago’s wife, retired Lt. Col. Carmen Santiago, referring to the U.S. Army’s Community Partner Outreach Program.
“Juan is what they call a ‘center of influence’ (CIO)/VIP,” she said.
Santiago enlisted in the Army in his native Puerto Rico. At the time, he could not speak English, but he could read and write it.
“We’re very patriotic on the island,” he said.
Santiago has helped with recruiting in high schools throughout the county.
“Over the years. Juan has gone to almost every high school in Brevard County and has talked to students,” Carmen Santiago said.
He’s also involved in judging competitions, attending Junior ROTC, graduations, and also helps recruiters make presentations.
“Juan had so many community partners, he would get called from Congressman Bill Posey’s team to assist in bringing home the remains of fallen soldiers that had no family here,” Ferguson said.
Photo credit: Klinton Landress, Senior Life
|_GRECAPTCHA||5 months 27 days||This cookie is set by the Google recaptcha service to identify bots to protect the website against malicious spam attacks.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-advertisement||1 year||Set by the GDPR Cookie Consent plugin, this cookie is used to record the user consent for the cookies in the "Advertisement" category .|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-analytics||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-functional||11 months||The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-others||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".|
|CookieLawInfoConsent||1 year||Records the default button state of the corresponding category & the status of CCPA. It works only in coordination with the primary cookie.|
|__cf_bm||30 minutes||This cookie, set by Cloudflare, is used to support Cloudflare Bot Management.|
|_ga||2 years||The _ga cookie, installed by Google Analytics, calculates visitor, session and campaign data and also keeps track of site usage for the site's analytics report. The cookie stores information anonymously and assigns a randomly generated number to recognize unique visitors.|
|_ga_7VX52F0C6J||2 years||This cookie is installed by Google Analytics.|
|_gat_gtag_UA_6914591_1||1 minute||Set by Google to distinguish users.|
|_gcl_au||3 months||Provided by Google Tag Manager to experiment advertisement efficiency of websites using their services.|
|_gid||1 day||Installed by Google Analytics, _gid cookie stores information on how visitors use a website, while also creating an analytics report of the website's performance. Some of the data that are collected include the number of visitors, their source, and the pages they visit anonymously.|
|CONSENT||2 years||YouTube sets this cookie via embedded youtube-videos and registers anonymous statistical data.|
|_fbp||3 months||This cookie is set by Facebook to display advertisements when either on Facebook or on a digital platform powered by Facebook advertising, after visiting the website.|
|fr||3 months||Facebook sets this cookie to show relevant advertisements to users by tracking user behaviour across the web, on sites that have Facebook pixel or Facebook social plugin.|
|VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE||5 months 27 days||A cookie set by YouTube to measure bandwidth that determines whether the user gets the new or old player interface.|
|YSC||session||YSC cookie is set by Youtube and is used to track the views of embedded videos on Youtube pages.|
|yt-remote-connected-devices||never||YouTube sets this cookie to store the video preferences of the user using embedded YouTube video.|
|yt-remote-device-id||never||YouTube sets this cookie to store the video preferences of the user using embedded YouTube video.|
|yt.innertube::nextId||never||This cookie, set by YouTube, registers a unique ID to store data on what videos from YouTube the user has seen.|
|yt.innertube::requests||never||This cookie, set by YouTube, registers a unique ID to store data on what videos from YouTube the user has seen.|
|b_fgNz-||1 day||No description|
|OmdalzGo||1 day||No description|
|wcgoR_rHEJPO||1 day||No description|
|YOi_HJFkKhuVQsCz||1 day||No description|