Cover photo for Armando Dennis Velasco, SSGT, USMC Retired's Obituary
Armando Dennis Velasco, SSGT, USMC Retired Profile Photo
1973 Armando 2023

Armando Dennis Velasco, SSGT, USMC Retired

December 18, 1973 — December 31, 2023

Laredo, Texas

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Armando Velasco, a beloved husband and father, proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps, passed away on December 31, 2023, in Cartagena, Colombia. He was a beacon in Laredo, tirelessly volunteering in numerous organizations: leader of Toys for TOTs, campaign support for Congressman Henry Cuellar, Health Engineer for Siemens, dedicated and admired JROTC instructor at USHS, a pillar with I Love Laredo and Wreaths Across America.

The son of Klaraluz C. Velasco and Roque Velasco. Armando grew up in Laredo, Texas. He was born December 18, 1973, and attended Escuela Carrillo (elementary) and Secundaria 4 (middle school) in Nuevo Laredo. He then attended Nixon High School and graduated from United High School in Laredo, Texas. On October 10, 1995, Armando enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and retired honorably in 2015. After his retirement, Armando got his formal education at TAMIU and obtained his Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering in 2020. 

He highly valued his 20-year service in the United States Marine Corps and attained the rank of Staff Sergeant. SSgt. Armando D. Velasco was part of the Aircraft Wing, specifically CH-46 Sea Knight “Phrog'' helicopter squadrons. As part of his military service, Ssgt. Velasco did three tours during Operation Iraqi Freedom with HMM-161; participated in numerous relief missions in Southeast Asia with the 31st MEU based in Okinawa, Japan; and ended his military career at HMX-1, Marine 1 Helicopter Squadron, proudly serving the White House and President Barack Obama. 

His awards and decorations include the following: 

Air Medal, USN Achievement MC, Marine GD CON (Good Conduct), Natl DEF (National Defense), ARMED FCS EXP (Armed Forces Expeditionary), Iraq Campaign, GWOTEM (Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary), War On Terrorism Service, HUMANT SVC (Humanitarian Service), Sea Service Deployment, Merit Unit Citation, Navy Unit Citation, Joint Merit Unit Award, Presidential Unit Citation, US Presidential Service Badge, Air Crew Pin. 

Armando's passion for life overflowed beyond his military service experience. Recently, Armando was handpicked to serve as the JROTC instructor at United South High School where he was overjoyed and found immense satisfaction as he immediately bonded with his cadets and coworkers.

Armando was a loving and devoted husband to Ruth Eileen, an affectionate father to Samuel, and a generous son, grandson, brother, cousin, uncle and friend. He cherished every member of his family and always made it a point to dedicate time and make everyone feel special. He was full of joy this Christmas as he shared wonderful stories at the dinner table with his wife and son.

Armando was a man who loved intensely and was always serving the community. A man who felt the pain of others and acted to effect a change. A man who served his country as a Marine and did it with his heart.

A man who drove from his own initiative to central Mexico after the earthquake to build homes for the victims, a man who ran the Toys for TOTs program in Laredo with passion and joy, a wonderful man who loved his cadets in the JROTC at United South High School. He was overjoyed to be their mentor and always had a smile when he said “MY cadets”. Semper Fi.

ABOVE ALL, Armando was a man who loved God and loved his family. He loved his son intensely, loved his wife unwaveringly and wanted to take care of them as best he could. He loved his sister and mother without any reservations, loved his father and was there for him anytime he needed him, loved his brothers and wanted to be their hero, loved all his family by birth and through marriage. Armando is THE favorite uncle. “He was so much fun,” are the words that echo with his son, nieces and nephews. He loved his aunts, uncles, cousins, friends. He loved orphans, widows, people in need, even people that hurt him. He forgave and loved.

Armando was continuously encouraging every person he met and championed each person's endeavors. Especially his son Samuel. He always strove to encourage him and to give him a strong foundation as a man. He always took time to speak wisdom into Samuel’s heart.

Armando wanted to live to 120 years of age and was planning to reach that age fit and full of energy. Eating Aloe Vera every morning and committed to progressing in calisthenics. He had just attained the human flag and was going for more!

He didn’t just want to be here for his son, he wanted to be STRONG every stage of Samuel’s life, and old age was not going to get in his way!

Everyone who knew Armando admired him very much and saw him as an inspiration.

Armando D. Velasco is survived by his loving wife, Ruth Eileen Portillo-Velasco, and his 9-year-old son, Samuel Armando, whom he loved passionately; his parents Klaraluz C. Velasco (David V.) and Roque Velasco (Dora R.); grandmother, Mimi Carrillo; great-uncle, Felipe Contreras; sister Lourdes Villarreal (Edgar); brothers, Roque (Aydée) and Juan Antonio (Lydia); his cousin who was close like a brother, Mario Alberto (Perla); aunt Marta (Mario); Gold-Star aunt, Juanita; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. His loved ones will remember Armando’s devotion to his family, his work ethic, discipline and commitment. Armando will be remembered as a man who always remained humble and valued serving his community.  

Armando Velasco will be remembered not only for his achievements but also for his compassion, kindness, and unwavering dedication to others. His reverential presence, his compassionate heart, and his celebratory spirit will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.

A service honoring the life of Armando D. Velasco will be held at Laredo Church of the Crossroads, Friday, January 26th at 6:00 pm with visitation from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm. 

The following morning, Saturday, January 27th, viewing will be held at Hillside Funerals & Cremations from 8:00 am to 10:00 am, followed by a funeral service at 10:00 am. 

Graveside service with Full Military Honors will be at Laredo City Cemetery-Heroe’s Hall at 11:15 am.

Arrangements are under the care and direction of Hillside Funerals and Cremations; 310 W. Hillside Rd; Laredo, TX 78041; 956.724.6060

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Armando Dennis Velasco, SSGT, USMC Retired, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, January 26, 2024

5:30 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Laredo Church-The Crossroads

1301 International Blvd, Laredo, TX 78045

Livestream

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Prayer Service

Friday, January 26, 2024

6:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Laredo Church-The Crossroads

1301 International Blvd, Laredo, TX 78045

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Visitation

Saturday, January 27, 2024

8:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Hillside Funeral & Cremations

310 Hillside Rd., Laredo, TX 78041

Livestream

Click to watch

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, January 27, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Hillside Funeral & Cremations

310 Hillside Rd., Laredo, TX 78041

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Saturday, January 27, 2024

11:15am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Livestream

Click to watch

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