Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Pablo Allenda Ruiz III

Melbourne, Florida

May 24, 2015

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
37 Army SFC

Group Support Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group

Fort Bragg, North Carolina

 Died in Bagram, Afghanistan, from a non-combat related incident.

From The Fayettville Observer fayobserver.com 06/14/15:

Master Sgt. Pablo A. Ruiz III
Jun 14, 2015
BUNNLEVEL - Pablo "Ponch" Allende Ruiz III, of Bunnlevel, passed away Sunday, May 24, 2015, in Bagram, Afghanistan. He was born in Key West, Fla., to Pablo A. and Nancy Ruiz Jr. and was a master sergeant in the U.S. Army. He was a mentor for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) and a lifetime member of the 82nd Airborne Association.

He is survived by his loving wife of 20 years, Desiree Ruiz; daughter, Deanna Ruiz; son-in-law, Brian Baker; mother, Nancy Ruiz; brother, Christopher Ruiz; sister, Adrianna Ruiz; father- and mother-in-law, Bruce and Teresa Jones; three aunts, Norma Sonzogni, Betty Sanchez and Iris Ojeda; sister-in-law, Tiffany Jones; nieces, Destinee Jones, Ariel Ruiz and Marie Villalpando; as well as family and friends too numerous to list.

A visitation was held Thursday, June 4, 2015, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Fountainhead Funeral Home, with a funeral service Friday, June 5, 2015, at 2 p.m. at the Florida Institute of Technology Auditorium.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) at taps.org or 1-800-959-TAPS, or to a trust for his daughter, Deanna, through a branch of the USAA Bank.

Fountainhead Funeral Home is entrusted with arrangements.
From army.mil 05/28/15:

We remember: Master Sgt. Pablo A. Ruiz
May 28, 2015
By James Goodwin, Pentagram Editor 

Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall lost one of its own this week.

The Department of Defense announced May 25 the death of Master Sgt. Pablo A. Ruiz III, a 37-year-old native of Melbourne, Florida, who was assigned to Group Support Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He died from a "noncombat-related incident," according to the Defense Department's official news release. 

Ruiz was the senior food operations specialist sergeant for the JBM-HH Dining Facility from June 2012 until this March. As such, Ruiz was the "driving force" behind the dining facility's recent renovations, according to Maj. Armando Peralta, who supervised Ruiz at JBM-HH. 

"He was a go-getter to the core," he said. "He had an uncommon ability to see the bigger picture beyond his rank." 

Peralta added that in his 23 years of military service, he never had a better platoon sergeant than Ruiz. 

"It's funny how things happen, because I was just talking to one of my NCOs about how much I miss him," said Peralta. "You could give him a mission and forget about it because he'd get it done."

Tony Taylor, supervisory maintenance manager at JBM-HH's Directorate of Public Works, worked closely with Ruiz during this year's monthlong renovations to the JBM-HH dining facility, which entailed weeks of logistical planning and inspections before the renovations began, he said. 

"He would work weekends, set up meetings; he even brought in inspection teams from Fort Lee," said Taylor, who added that Ruiz's knowledge, tact and professionalism were above reproach. 

After finishing his time at JBM-HH, Ruiz reported to 3rd Special Forces Group's support battalion at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. From there he deployed to Afghanistan, where he served as the food service operations manager for the dining facility at Bagram Air Field, according to the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne) Public Affairs Office. 

Taylor said he and others who worked with Ruiz plan on attending the funeral, even if that requires travel outside Virginia. 

"This is a tremendous loss for his family and the Army," said Taylor. 

An avid volunteer with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors nonprofit organization that assists families of fallen service members, Ruiz is survived by a wife and a daughter, according to an online obituary. 

"We are saddened by the death of our dear friend and dedicated TAPS volunteer Pablo Ruiz, III," said Bonnie Carroll, TAPS president and founder in an online statement. "During this Memorial Day week and all the days ahead, our hearts are with his family, friends and the children of the TAPS Good Grief Camp whose lives he profoundly touched."

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