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Established in 2010 and renamed in 2011 to the SSgt Javier Ortiz Memorial 5k Race & Fitness Walk to honor a local fallen Marine. SSgt Javier Ortiz was a participant in the first annual race, and we are fortunate to have the opportunity to honor his memory each year. We are grateful for our community’s participation and support in this event, as it shows remarkable commitment to family health and well-being. The biography of SSgt Javier Ortiz can be found below:
Javier Ortiz, born in Cayey, Puerto Rico on September 7, 1984 moved to Rochester at the age of 7 along with his family. His parents Gloria Rivera and Orlando Ortiz, older brother Orlando Ortiz and younger sister Glory Ortiz continued to reside in Rochester. Javier attended Monroe Middle School and Edison Technical High School where he received his High School diploma. While at Edison Tech, he was in the JROTC program and began to have a passion for military.
Upon graduating from High School, he enrolled in the early entry program in the US Marine. He entered boot camp summer of 2001 and from there began a life filled with joy as he so proudly served as a Marine. In 2003 he went on his first tour to Iraq during the initial entry into Iraq. He was later stationed in Japan for 1 year and returned to North Carolina where he was stationed permanently. Javier went on to complete a tour in Afghanistan and another in Iraq.
During this time, Javier began a family in North Carolina with wife Veronica Ortiz Rivera and his 3 children, Alyssa, Andrew, and Anthony. He loved his family very much and took time out to spend time with his family, especially in the leading months nearing deployment.
On September 3, 2010 Javier was deployed on his 2nd tour to Afghanistan and 4th total in his 9 years as a Marine. He achieved a rank of Staff Sergeant and Platoon Leader. On November 16, 2010 Javier was killed by an IED roadside bomb while on foot patrol in an Afghanistan province. Javier was brought home to Rochester where he was well received by the community. By his request, he was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. Javier was 26 years old.
Javier represents all of the fallen soldiers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice defending our Freedom. Javier also brings to light the contribution of Latino Soldiers who have defended America in all of its worldwide conflicts for many years.