Assignment Afghanistan: Aggie Commandant's Son Continues Tradition of Service

BAGRAM, AFGHANISTAN Three generations of one family have sacrificed in service to the nation. The youngest of the trio is in Afghanistan right now, and even though he's not an Aggie, he's got a strong tie to Texas A&M. The love and respect between father and son runs deep with the Ramirez's.

There's a big difference between being inside the barbed wire of a war front base and leaving it. In six years in the military, Captain Jason Ramirez has deployed to Iraq once and Afghanistan now twice.

"I was outside the wire, conducting operations daily," he said. "This is my first deployment behind a desk, but everybody contributes, and I'm glad to be a part of the team."

Ramirez is serving as a liaison officer with 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division in Bagram, helping move critical information on operations in a field he knew he would be part of his life.

"Growing up as a military brat, you're kind of surrounded by it and you see what it's all about," he explained. "That shaped me into the person I am, especially with my dad being in the army, the discipline he grandfather, his history."

Joe Ramirez Sr. served in the Korean War and was taken prisoner for nearly three years.

Joe's son was inspired. Despite being surrounded by gang influences that led other family down bad paths, Joe Jr. ended up in Texas A&M's Corps of Cadets, then in the Army. He rose to be a general, one that now leads the A&M Corps as its commandant.

Jason Ramirez's A&M ring comes from Corpus Christi, but his love for College Station's campus is clear, along with for his inspiring dad.

"He understands exactly what I'm going through, so it's easy to talk with him," Jason said. "He's always been 100 percent supportive. Of course, he's worried. He doesn't like that I'm over here, but he definitely understands why I chose to come back over here and what I'm doing."

So how much of an inspiration is Jason's father to the path that he took?

"Very inspirational," Jason said. "He's my hero. He's my role model. He's somebody that I've always looked up to. He's everything. I try to conduct myself as an officer like he did. I look up to him a lot."

"A military career is a tough life, and it takes you away from your family a lot, whether you're training, whether you're deployed, whether you're serving overseas where your family can't go," General Ramirez said. "It's challenging. It was hard. As I look back on it now, and I've got five children, if I could have done anything differently, I would have spent more time with my kids, but it's nice to hear. Those are the kind of things that dads live for."

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