U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force
World War II, Korea, Vietnam
Norberto T. Ramos grew up south of Georgetown, Texas. The eldest son, at 10-year-old he was expected to step up to become the man of the house after the death of his father to help his mom care for the family of six. The most important life lesson he learned was to be kind to others, especially to those in need.
Ramos joined the U.S. Army in 1943, was trained as a combat medic, and deployed when World War II broke out. However, due to the demands of the D-Day invasion, on his 19th birthday, he was re-assigned to the 86th Infantry Division and became a replacement shooter on the front lines. After a perilous crossing of the Rhine River, Ramos found himself in the middle of fierce fighting in the Ruhr Pocket of Germany.
Ramos remembered on his first night in the field his squad leader telling him: “Bob, this is real. This isn’t a movie, son. Consider yourself on the front line. Good luck.” Ramos recalled that with the dawn the war was in full force and “it was my day of baptism.”
The battle became a cat-and-mouse game as his squad chased German tanks and troops, 10 to 30 yards apart, firing at close range, and lying still in the mud listening to enemy tanks roll past them.
Ramos was discharged in from the Army in 1946. When he was recalled for the Korean War, Ramos chose to join the Air Force and he loved it. During his 20 more years with the Air Command he handled security for the U2 spy planes, and was responsible for overseeing security forces at Hill Air Force Base before retiring in 1969 as a Master Sargent.
MSgt Ramos spent most of the 1970s working for the state of Utah helping Vietnam Veterans returning home to find employment, education, and health benefits. Remaining true to the lifelong lesson of helping others, Ramos helped spur the idea of veteran homes across the Beehive state.
As a veteran of World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam, Ramos is honored to have served his country and states: “I survived. I made it.”