Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Speaks at Veteran’s Day appreciation breakfast

Published 2:42 pm Friday, November 9, 2018

Veterans Day weekend in Dallas County started with the third annual Veteran’s appreciation breakfast on Friday at the Wallace Community College-Selma.

Veterans in various military branches filled the Hank Sanders Conference room to hear retired United States Air Force Lt. Col. Steve Ruiz speak. Dallas County Probate Judge-elect Jimmy Nunn also attended.

Ruiz, currently a AFJROTC Instructor at Southside High School, discussed his 25-year military career that included stops at Maxwell Air Force Base down the road in Montgomery and at Andrews AFB in Maryland.

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The New Orleans native thanked veterans of the past and present during his speech, especially those who served in World War I and World War II.

“We owe these people a debt that we can’t repay,” Ruiz said. “They just want our respect. We’re committed to working and praying for peace until it’s served.”

Ruiz said he’d like to see the younger generation take more responsibility in the current military.

“As the older veterans are fading away, our young people aren’t stepping up to those ranks,” Ruiz said. “We hope they do.”

Ruiz said his plan is to retire in three years, which would set a personal milestone.

“I want to remain until 2021, that way it’ll be 25-25,” Ruiz said. “I’d have 25 years in the military and I’d have 25 years teaching.”

Ruiz is married to Deborah Robertson, a Speech Pathologist at Holtville Elementary School. They have three children, including a student at Troy University.

Sponsoring the Veteran’s breakfast were the MJ 93/90 Foundation, Selma Chamber of Commerce, Wallace Community College and Dave’s Market.