Domingo Arroyo Jr.
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 Somali Civil War. 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". He graduated with fair grades from high school and according to relatives saw the Marine Corps as a way to both see the world and learn a trade to help support his family.
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.
Somali Civil War
With the outbreak of the Somali 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. The attack came near the airport.
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 Somali 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
On February 17, 1993, Senator William Warren "Bill" Bradley and the United States Senate paid tribute to PFC Domingo Arroyo Jr.:
Mr. President, on January 20, 1993, Pfc. Domingo Arroyo Jr. of Elizabeth, NJ, became the first United States soldier to be killed in the Somali 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
Domingo Arroyo Jr military decorations and awards include:
|1||Purple Heart||Combat Action Ribbon with one gold star||Joint Meritorious Unit Award|
|2||National Defense Service Medal||Southwest Asia Service Medal with bronze one Service star||Sea Service Deployment Ribbon|
|3||Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal||Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)||Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)|
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- 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.
- "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". Archived from the original on 2007-08-11. Unknown parameter
- 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. Unknown parameter
- Puertorriquenos Who Served With Guts, Glory, and Honor. Fighting to Defend a Nation Not Completely Their Own; by : Greg Boudonck; ISBN 978-1497421837 Search this book on .
- "Somalia: Operation Restore Hope". Archived from the original on 2005-02-14. Unknown parameter
|url-status=ignored (help) Contains a full listing of U.S. soldiers killed in Somalia.
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