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Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez Addresses ROTC Students

by Tony Vindell/LFN

A retired lieutenant general with the U.S. Army was one of the judges who viewed the projects submitted by 10 students with Rio Grande Valley high schools.

Ricardo Sanchez, whose longtime career with this country’s armed forces was most noticeable as commander with the Multi-National Force-Iraq and V Corps during the US-led occupation of Iraq in 2003-04, was one of a team of judges who chose the top three spots of a scholarship program set up by a Harlingen dentist. Dr. Juan D. Villarreal.

Sanchez, a Rio Grande City native, had a military career that spanned for 33 years.

“Fifty years ago, I was exactly where you are today,” he said, addressing the students.

“I was a ROTC cadet.”

Sanchez said their job is to go to college to get an education, to get a degree and to join the army if that is their calling.

“I was never an advocate of the army but I joined our country’s Armed Forces to preserve and protect the U.S. Constitution,” he said.

“I have two daughters, Rebekah and Lara, who were deployed during the surge as civilians.”

The surge is a term used to describe an increase in the number of troops during President George W. Bush’s administrations with the deployment of up to 160,000 soldiers.

In 2012, Sanchez announced he was not running for an open Texas U.S. Senate seat even though he was in the race.

Asked if he will run again, he simply said, “You never close that option, but not now.”

Sanchez is CEO with Optec Enterprise Solutions, a San Antonio-based company.

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