Fallen Soldier: Cesar Ruiz

Cesar Ruiz
Dates: Died October 31, 2009
Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
Branch of Service: Marine Corps
Rank: Sergeant
Player: Sean-Karl Dobson

While in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Sergeant Ruiz lost his life from a land mine on October 31, 2009, while supporting combat operations.

Sgt. Ruiz was serving his second tour in Afghanistan as a combat engineer. His new unit, Combat Logistics Battalion 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, deployed to Firebase Fiddler’s Green in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. As a platoon sergeant, he led 16 Marines and one Navy corpsman through the daily task of sweeping convoy routes for improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Just one month into their deployment, Sgt. Ruiz’s team approached a hut that looked like a possible enemy observation point. After securing the perimeter, Sgt. Ruiz entered first and stepped on a pressure plate, triggering an IED blast that fatally wounded him.

Sergeant Ruiz was born in Nava, Coahuila, Mexico. He was 7 years old when he immigrated to the United States and settled in the San Antonio area with his family.

Sgt. Ruiz had planned to start the process of applying for U.S. citizenship once he returned from Afghanistan. Instead, his wife pursued that goal on his behalf. “He took pride in protecting his family, the United States and its citizens,” she said. The USCIS San Antonio Field Office was instrumental in processing his application, and USCIS posthumously granted citizenship Sgt. Ruiz on August 17, 2011.

He is survived by his wife, Kimberly, and son, Joshua.