Military Order of the Purple Heart

Texas Capital Chapter 1919 Austin, Texas

 

Armando Ybarra

 

Armando Ybarra

Patriot, Chapter 1919

 (Marines, Beirut, Lebanon) Article December 2003

 

Armando Ybarra, our most recently elected chapter Trustee, is not only unusual, he is unique among our chapter’s 550 Patriots.  To start with, he is the only one among us that was wounded in the Oct 1983 terrorist truck-bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon but, it gets even better than that. Hours after the bombing, when   Armando was finally pulled from all of the wreckage of the building, the photo of him being carried out by three Marines was broadcast worldwide. Among other media, it was also printed on the covers of TIME and NEWSWEEK  magazines.  How many of the rest of us in Chapter 1919 got that kind of publicity when wounded? (or would have wanted the attention).  During recent hospitalization, Armando’s photo was on Pg 1 of the Austin American-Statesman (Thurs. Oct 23rd, the 20th Anniversary of the bombing) and PATRIOT BULLETIN guarantees this was  the first time a Purple Heart baseball cap has been on a Pg 1 feature of the Austin paper. The newspapers and newsmagazines are not the only media attention that has been focused on Patriot Armando Ybarra.  He has just had nationwide TV coverage on the “History Channel” program, REUNION, that aired at 10 PM on Wed, Nov 12th. Armando was featured in a 30 minute segment that documented the bombing in all its detail and then ended with the “reunion” scene where Dave Madaras (the Marine on the right, holding Armando’s legs) who helped save Armando’s life, arrived at the  Ybarra’s home in Austin for a visit on the 20th Anniversary of that tragic day. Without doubt, there will be re-runs of that program, look for it on future broadcasts. The 241 men of the 1st Bn, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, who died on Oct 23, 1983 still mark that event as the second most costly terrorist attack in our nation’s history, ranking next behind Sep 11, 2001 in the number of lives lost. Armando Ybarra sustained massive wounds to his right leg, injuries that resulted in his being medically retired back home in Austin with permanent disabilities that are difficult to endure even today.

 

 
 
 
 

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