Lance Corporal Armando Hernandez
Armando was born in Harbor City, CA and is the middle child of three children, Carlos, his oldest brother who is also a US Marine and his youngest sister Esmeralda. Armando was extremely smart. When he was in 7th grade, he took the ACT college entrance exam and placed higher than most junior and senior students in High School earning him state recognition at Texas A&M University. He also competed in UIL events all throughout his school years winning many recognitions such as medals, plaques, and ribbons. When it came time for the ASVAB, he received a perfect score of 99. His math skills and love for history were definitely what kept our family dinners very entertaining.
Armando was a quiet, yet very caring person. He was an avid blood and plasma donor at Gulf Coast Blood Center and was on their recurring program. He had a heart for children with Autism and homeless people and was a lover of nature’s beauty. One memorable day he showed up at my work, which was next door to his school, with a stray dog on a leash and announced that we needed to leave right away because the stray was hungry. We fed him and as we were giving him a bath, we got a phone call from the school telling us the owner was at the office looking for his dog. The owner said the dog was missing for two months but, after a post went viral on Facebook of Armando walking with the dog on school grounds, the owner recognized his dog. Of course, in good spirit Armando returned the dog but he had already decided on the name, Benny, and hurt to see his friend leave so soon.
When Armando broke the news that he was enlisting in the Marines at the end of his senior year in high school, his mother begged him not to go. His response was, “If not Me, then Who?” “You always say this country has given our family the American dream. I am ready to serve and pay it forward.” This phrase was one of his favorites and he lived his life following it. And the reason we chose to have it engraved on his headstone and the bench dedicated in his honor.
Armando left for bootcamp in San Diego, CA on August 12, 2019, and graduated November 8, 2019. He spent a month in Camp Pendleton, CA conducting Marine Combat Training and moved to the Army Quartermaster School in Fort Lee, Virginia. In July of 2020, after completing initial Electro-Optical Repair School, he received orders to Okinawa, Japan assigned to the 3rd Maintenance Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group and the Ordnance Repair Platoon.
While assigned to Ordnance Maintenance, Lance Corporal Hernandez conducted multiple operational and training events. Some of the most notable was Jungle Warfare Training, Lance Corporal’s Leadership and Ethics Seminar, Helicopter Egress training along with many Company, Battalion, and Field Training Events.
We would be remiss if we did not mention the love for his family and friends. His genuine heart along with the combination of his calm quiet presence, his steady demeanor, and his can-do attitude won him many loyal and faithful friends. Armando was wise beyond his years and would light up the room with his interesting character. Armando made a home of the barracks and was the glue who kept the Marines together. He celebrated holidays and birthdays for the boys on base and cooked homemade recipes to make a home away from home for them.
Lance Corporal Armando Hernandez passed in an accident on base while on active duty. He is loved and will be greatly missed by family, friends, and fellow Marines.