On this Veteran’s Day 2017, Terra-Petra would like to honor our own brave Veterans, John Conaway – U.S. Marine Corps, Anthony Avina – U.S Marine Corps, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, H&S company, and Eduardo Rangel – U.S. Army, 2 time Afghanistan Veteran.
We would like to thank John, Anthony and Eduardo along with all of those who have served —and those who continue to serve— for your valiant service to defend this amazing country of ours. We truly appreciate all of your hard work and dedication.
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” –John Fitzgerald Kennedy
John Conaway, PE
Terra-Petra’s Professional Engineer (PE Civil) and Vietnam Veteran, John R. Conaway has over 40 years of experience in project supervision, development, evaluation, training, and safety. His impressive and expansive career track started when John received a draft notice in late 1965, when the military presence started to increase in Vietnam.
On July 28, 1965, during a noontime press conference, President Johnson announced that he would send 44 additional combat battalions to Vietnam increasing the U.S. military presence to 125,000 men. Monthly draft calls were doubled from 17,000 to 35,000. “I have asked the commanding general, General Westmoreland, what more he needs to meet this mounting aggression,” Johnson said. “We will meet his needs. We cannot be defeated by force of arms. We will stand in Vietnam.” He further commented, “I do not find it easy to send the flower of our youth, our finest young men, into battle. I have spoken to you today of the divisions and the forces and the battalions and the units, but I know them all, every one. I have seen them in a thousand streets, of a hundred towns, in every state in this union-working and laughing and building, and filled with hope and life. I think I know, too, how their mothers weep and how their families sorrow.”
Instead of going into the army, as he had expected, John went into the US Marine Corps, and served from January 1966 to January 1968. He received his training at Camp Pendleton, California, and was later transferred to Camp Lejeune, NC. One of the highlights of his service was being selected to run the supply department on a 3-month “Caribbean cruise.” During the cruise, his ship broke down, allowing him to spend several weeks in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The photo,of John above was taken after during war games in November 1966 on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. He achieved the rank of sergeant in 18 months, which was a record time for getting to the rank of E-5. Although he came close several times, John was able to avoid being sent to fight on the front lines in Vietnam, although he is still considered a Vietnam-era Vet.
John earned a reputation for his expertise in design and inspection of methane mitigation systems and waterproofing for commercial and residential structures. John has worked with solid waste disposal, environmental engineering, managing road and facility maintenance and construction, permitting, project engineering and design in California, Nevada, and North Carolina.
Anthony Avina, Deputy Methane Inspector
Anthony B. Avina served in the United States Marine Corps for 8 ½ years (2005-2013) with the 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, H&S company. While serving in the Marine Corps, he received training as an Electro-Optical Ordinance Repairman which taught him how to repair and maintain night sights, thermal sights, missile systems, fire control systems and optical sights.
During his service he went on numerous training exercises across the United States from Yakima, WA, Boise, ID and, Fort Knox, Kentucky. He deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2009-2010 for a tour of service overseas where he conducted internal/external base security and his job as an Electro-Optical Ordinance Repairman conducting preventive maintenance and repairs on the battalions’ vehicles.
By the end of his service he attained the rank of Sergeant and was running the day-to-day operations for the Instrument and Optics shop, and was responsible for the training and welfare of eight Marines.
Within his term of service, he received the following awards: Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation, Selected Marine Corps Reserve Ribbon 2nd Award, National Defense Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terror Ribbon, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal and, NATO ISAF Medal.
Eduardo Rangel, Deputy Methane Inspector
In 2007, SPC Eduardo Rangel received a wartime award for valor and heroism from the US Army for “exceptional meritorious service while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. SPC Rangel’s personal courage and commitment to mission accomplishment in a combat zone, under the most extreme circumstances, greatly contributed to the success of Operation Enduring Freedom. SPC Rangel’s performance reflects great credit upon him, combined task force fury, combined Joint Task Force-82 and the United States Central Command.”
Eduard’s superiors highlighted the fact that he exhibited “courage under fire” in Shavak Afghanistan, and in the Paktia, Poli-alarm, and Logar provinces of Afghanistan while conducting combat patrols. He laid down heavy suppressive fire for his platoon members engaging the enemy. As the enemy attacked several times via well-organized ambushes, SPC Rangel remained calm while taking commands and calling out enemy distance and description. He participated in over 100 combat mounted and dismounted patrol missions in these Paktia, Poli-alarm, and Logar provinces of Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom VIII. His tireless efforts, knowledge, and willingness to give resulted in accomplishment of all of his assigned missions covering thousands of miles of rugged terrain throughout all three provinces.
The second citation was awarded to Eduardo in 2010 for “meritorious service as a combat engineer while assigned to Alpha Company, 508th Special Troops Battalion from 04 March 2006 to 01, November 2010.” The citation goes on to state: “SPC Rangel’s technical and tactical competence, combined with his dedication to duty set the example for others to follow. His attention to detail and selfless service inspired every paratrooper to achieve success. His performance reflects great credit upon himself, Alpha Company, 508th Special Troops Battalion, The 82nd Airborne Division, and the United States Army.
One of the achievements highlighted in the award document outlines how Specialist Rangel was deployed to West Point NY where he was assisted in the training of over 120 Cadets in Demolitions and Urban Breaching Techniques. He was also a part of two deployments to the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, LA. During the JRTC deployment, he was key to his Platoon’s ability to conduct Route Clearance and Sanitation Operations. He mentored and instructed the Platoon on numerous techniques, tactics and procedures–often citing personal experiences.