Memorial Day is a time to honor and remember those who gave their all fighting for our freedom.
For this weeks Lia Auto Group Surprise Squad we introduce you to one hero who honors his fallen comrades by helping the living.
Ahead of Memorial Day, we come together as a nation to honor those who died for our country.
"And to not forget that they leave a lot of people behind and a lot of those people are still mourning," said Victor Nunez-Ortiz.
Ortiz ia a Marine Corp Reserve veteran who was deployed to Iraq in 2004 as a combat engineer. Six months in, he lost a close friend.
"Staff Sgt. Lehto, we lost him close to Christmas in 2004. He led us through a couple missions. It's somebody I have close connections to personally, somebody who passed away in the war. So I honor Staff Sgt. Lehto on Memorial Day," Ortiz added.
Ortiz returned home in February of 2005, but his service to our country never stopped.
In 2007, he lost a close friend and fellow Marine to suicide.
"Ever since his loss, I decided I needed to do something to make sure no other veteran or friend of mine has to succumb to the healing wounds," Ortiz noted.
Army veteran Eric Segundo is the VFM State Commander and Ludlow Veteran Service Officer.
"There's a motto that says we honor our dead by serving the living, and Victor lives for that motto every day," said Segundo.
After seeing all that Victor does to honor and celebrate all veterans, Eric nominated him for the Lia Auto Group Surprise Squad.
"He's always been there for anyone who calls him at any time of the day. If he doesn't have the answer, he'll find the answers. He will always make sure the veteran is taking care of," said Segundo.
Victor and his wife welcomed their fourth child into their lives three weeks ago, so the Lia Auto Group Surprise Squad was able to give back to this hero who's already given us so much.
The Lia Auto Group Surprise Squad gave Victor gift cards for coffee and dinner, along with diapers, wipes, and flowers for his wife, but that wasn't all.
We found out Victor and his boys love soccer, so Western Mass News reached out to New England Revolution.
The team sent a box full of soccer balls, bobble heads, shirts, scarves, and a personal, signed jersey from Victor's favorite player, along with tickets for him to see a game and meet his favorite player.
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