City of Orlando celebrates World War II vet’s 100th birthday

City council gave proclamation in honor of veteran Richard Ortega’s service

WWII veteran Richard Ortega was honored for his service at Monday's city council meeting in Orlando. (City of Orlando)

ORLANDO, Fla. – A 100-year-old World War II veteran was honored by the Orlando City Council during its Monday afternoon meeting.

The veteran, Richard A. Ortega, celebrated his 100th birthday two weeks ago on Feb. 7, according to the city council’s agenda.

As such, the council proclaimed during its meeting that Feb. 20, 2023 would be dubbed “Richard A. Ortega 100th Birthday Celebration Day.”

According to the proclamation, Ortega was born in Cienfuegos, Cuba and immigrated to the U.S. at 15 years old before enlisting in the U.S. Army and serving nearly 30 years in the U.S. Armed Forces, serving during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

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Since then, Ortega retired from the Armed Forces and moved to Orlando, becoming an educator and administrator for Colonial High School and launching Junior ROTC units at community high schools, the proclamation says. Following the proclamation, Ortega took a photo with the council.

“The City of Orlando is proud to join in the celebration of Richard’s milestone 100th birthday,” the proclamation reads. “Our city will always be grateful for his heroic service to our nation and his commitment to our community and its residents.”

It went on to say, “He served in the Army with distinction as a Combat Infantryman with the 29th Infantry Division, including on D-Day on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France; Richard received numerous awards for his military service, including eight Purple Hearts, two Silver Stars an four Bronze Stars.”

You can read the full text of the proclamation below.

About the Author:

Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined in April 2022.