July Military Hero

Meet Marine Veteran and Tejano drummer superstar Justin Ramirez.

VICTORIA, Texas – Justin Ramirez is your Military Hero for the month of July. Ramirez was born and raised in Victoria and spent most of his youth here in the Crossroads. He’s a graduate of Stroman High School and while he was there was on the football team but ended up joining the band because he says he wanted to be on a winning team, apparently the football team hadn’t won.

“I graduated 1998, I played football. Oh, 9th and 10th grade I injured my knee and got out of football. Or maybe not even tenth, no, I think I did play 10th grade I don’t know. But I joined the band because that was the only thing that was winning at the time anyway. I don’t think we won a game into my senior year. And we did very well. I think we were I know as far as job line was concerned. We were the best, I know we were best in third best in the nation,” says Ramirez.

Ramirez said the feeling to join the Military just came to him one day, saying that he was out mowing the lawn when he got this urge to do more with his life. So, in the summer of 2003, he joined the Marines and before he knew it, he was off to boot camp in San Diego.

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Justin Ramirez is your Military Hero for the month of July.

Ramirez spent eight years in the service and was in during the Iraq conflict so instead of seeing

the world, as he put it, he went to the sandbox. While overseas he did multiple tours in Iraq, going back twice, fighting in numerous battles.

“No, I wasn’t fortunate enough to see the world I got to see the sandbox, which means I went to Iraq. Twice. We did the raid on Fallujah, or the attack on Fallujah, we did the attack on Ramadi,” says Ramirez.

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Ramirez in Iraq with his fellow Marines.

Ramirez says that the Military taught him structure, and to not take things for granted.

“What I took away from the military was structure a lot. I’m a very structured kind of guy. Yeah, I’m not going to say I was the most responsible guy even being in the Marine Corps of even coming out of the Marine Corps that I learned, being married, you learn that real, real fast. But learn to not take things for granted. When we were off in Iraq, many, you took everything that you had back home for granted because, you know, it’s always there, anything you need is always there, you know, you go to sleep in a fight and home for two and a half months, you don’t even have a fresh bath, or a hot meal. So, you take a lot of things, a lot of those things for granted. And one thing that I can say is when you’re having a down day or, or, you know, you just think that life sucks, trust me can always be worse. It can always be worse,” says Ramirez.

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Ramirez has been playing since the age of two and is now a professional Tejano musician.

After the military he came back to Texas, now living in San Antonio with his wife and their three children, coming back to Victoria often to visit family.

One thing you need to know about this month’s Military Hero, he is a beast on the drums. Practically since birth Ramirez has always had a drumstick in hand.

“I picked up a drumstick when I was supposedly when I was two. I started playing at four years old and made my first dollar,” says Ramirez.

Ramirez is a professional musician, performing with world-renowned Tejano bands all over North America.

“David Marez, I got to play with Ram Herra, I’ve gotten to play with Gary Hobbs, I’ve got to back up multiple artists, Jay Perez, Shelly Lares, Joe Posada, and right now I’m currently and have been for the last five years playing with Bobby Pulido,” says Ramirez.

One of his performances with Bobby Pulido has over 12 million views. Ramirez added that he once performed for a crowd of around 30,000 people, in what he described as a sea of people. And he gets it from his dad, with Ramirez’s own son picking up the drums.

“Man, I got involved with music because of my father. My father was. He’s been a musician for… How old is he now? He’s in his late 60s. Yeah, he’s been a musician his whole life, played with magic and be at the then also play with Gary Hobbs. Also, it’s kind of iconic. I mean, ironic that I got to play with him also,” says Ramirez.

And for his youngest child, it’s too early to tell if he’ll be a drummer but he’s happy to make an appearance in his dad’s Facebook videos from time to time.

If you want to see for yourself just how talented Ramirez is on the drums you can check him out as he’ll be performing in Victoria on September 24!

The Tejano tunes will get you up and moving.