Raul Velasquez Ruiz

1950 - 1994

Vietnam War

Their Story

Raul Velasquez Ruiz was born February 10, 1950, to Rosa Ornelas Velasquez and Ricardo Cano Ruiz in Fort Stockton, Texas.1 He went to school in Fort Stockton but did not graduate from high school. He had four sisters, Norma, Marge, Rosie, and Yolanda, and four brothers, Tony, Anthony, Henry, and Ricardo.2 Anthony died at two months of age of dysentery in 1952.3 Tony died in 1977 at the age of 14 after a motorcycle accident.4

Raul married Yolanda Bueno in June 1968 in Texas, and they had a son, Michael. They divorced August 30, 1983.5 Michael died at the age of 21 in Odessa, Texas, on July 2, 1996, two years after his father.6

Raul enlisted in the Army August 6, 1969, and served during Vietnam. He was a heavy equipment operator in a combat engineer unit.7 He drove a five-ton truck, transporting soldiers to the front line. They also built roads wherever they needed to be built. He was stationed in the Mekong Delta region. His brother, Henry, also served in Vietnam, and in 1971, just before Raul was discharged, the two of them met up and spent a week together. Raul was discharged August 5, 1971.8

He moved to Albany, Illinois, to be near family. Raul married Cheryl Bale on August 9, 1992, in Clinton, Iowa. They had two daughters, Ariann and Sylvia, and one son Raul, Jr. 9

He was a member of Jesus Christ Prince of Peace Parish, Clinton, Iowa. He worked for a manufacturing company in Clinton, Iowa, for a while and then was a cook at various restaurants in Clinton. He took pride in his cooking and was well-known in Clinton for his good food. He enjoyed spending time with his family and watching sports, especially the Dallas Cowboys.

Raul developed cirrhosis of the liver and was ill for several years, spending much of the last two years of his life at the VA Medical Center in Iowa City. He died in Green Rock, Illinois, at the home of his sister, Norma, on June 2, 1994. He was just 44.


1 NARA – AAD – Display Full Records – Application (SS-5) Files, 1936 – 2007 (Last Names O through R) (archives.gov)

2 Rosa Ornelas Velasquez Ruiz (1928-2017) – Find a Grave Memorial

3 Ancestry.com – Texas, U.S., Death Certificates, 1903-1982

4 Personal interview by phone with sister Marge Hook on Sept. 21, 2022

5 Texas, U.S., Divorce Index, 1968-2015 – Ancestry.com

6 04 Jul 1996, 2 – San Angelo Standard-Times at Newspapers.com

7 Personal interview on phone with brother Henry V. Ruiz on Sept. 21, 2022

8 Ruiz, Raul Velasquez in U.S. Veterans’ Gravesites, ca.1775-2019 – Fold3

9 05 Jun 1994, 30 – The Dispatch at Newspapers.com