Cpl (Ret.) Raul Olivares, USMC
Raul joined the Marines on August 2007 to become a Corporal 3 years after graduating Eagle Pass High School. Before he decided to a Marine, he lived in Eagle Pass, Texas; a small town in the Southern part of Texas. He lived with his mother, Dariela Portales, and his two brothers, Alan and Israel Olivares. During his rebel teenage years, he confronted pressures, just like anybody else. At age of fifteen, he wanted to drop out of school because everybody was doing it - the “cool” thing to do. But when his mother found out about the “cool” thing he was thinking; she took him to work on the watermelon fields, that’s how he got his first job and learned the value of education.
Ever since that experience he told himself he wanted to succeed in life and become someone. He went to the community college for about a year, while working in a nursing home. He began with general studies and everything was going fine with his grades and work, however his passion on the other hand was to have a life full of excitement and adventure.
So, he decided to enlist in the Marine Corps. He went to MEPS, where they screen you mentally, physically, and do background checks, located in San Antonio, Texas, where he was shipped to Boot Camp in MCRD, Marine Corps Recruit Depot. He learned the real meaning of strict discipline, honor, courage, and commitment. After three months he was transferred to Marine Combat Training (MCT), located in Camp Pendleton, California. The first month was the harshest due to the hard training despite the weather conditions. MCT prepared him on the management of weapons and tactical navigation. After that month of weapon training he was once again shipped to Fort Leonard wood, Missouri; where he learned his MOS, Marine Occupation Specialty. Two months after, he was assigned 1st Marine Division Headquarters Battalion Truck Company Bravo 3rd Platoon in Camp Pendleton, California. Immediately after arrival, he started training in 29 Palms, California; a desert base and a perfect terrain to train at since they already knew we were headed to Afghanistan.
On April 28, 2010, they flew out of the United States into hostile territory in Afghanistan, to Camp Leatherneck. This camp supplied the rest of the bases; however, his platoon’s commander decided to stay there for a week in order for them to get acclimatized to the extreme heat Afghanistan has to offer. After that, they flew in a helicopter towards FOB (Forward Operating Base) SHAMSHAD and immediately started patrolling the region.
On June 5, 2010, they invaded the deep south of Afghanistan where they encountered heavy enemy resistance. The mission was to create 2 new FOBS and fought for 12 days before finally achieving their objective.
On June 18, 2010, Raul was in a convoy heading back to the operating base when he was hit by an IED. The pressure of the blast threw him out of his gunner position. The force was so great it fractured both his legs and killed his corpsman and wounded 3 other fellow Marines. Raul was bleeding out. Luckily, a fellow Marine and another Corpsman came to his aid.
He was flown out to Germany for medical treatment then to Bethesda, MD where plenty of painful surgeries were performed to save his legs. After two months of being in the hospital, he ironically was sent back to where it all started - San Antonio, Texas.
Raul retired on September 29, 2012. He and his wife, Lesley, are expecting their first child in January. They will live in the San Antonio area where he will be close to the base hospital and envisions owning his own business one day.