LFHS Alum Guerra-Ruiz Carried Casket of President

by Ronnie Zamora/LFCISD

President George H.W. Bush died on November 30. Memorial services were held in Washington D.C. and Houston before he was taken to his final resting place in College Station.

Members of the five branches of the military were pallbearers for President Bush’s casket, representing the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard.

Luis Angel Guerra-Ruiz, a 2015 graduate of Los Fresnos High School, represented the Air Force during the services Dec. 3 at the Capitol, which had a worldwide television audience.

Guerra-Ruiz, son of Blanca Patricia Perez and Luis Gerardo Guerra Salazar of Olmito, is a Senior Airman E-4 who has served three years in the Air Force. He also represented the Air Force by carrying the casket of former First Lady Barbara Bush, who died in April.

“It was definitely an honor and a rewarding feeling from being selected to do this job,” Guerra-Ruiz said. “It was an amazing experience.”

Bush’s body lied in state at the Capitol on Dec. 3 during the National Day of Mourning. It was the first presidential state funeral since 2006.

Guerra-Ruiz, who will turn 22 years old in February, was a member of the soccer, powerlifting and track teams at LFHS. He also played accordion for Conjunto Halcón.

Guerra-Ruiz joined the Air Force in December 2015 and has been stationed at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington. He has performed Honor Guard roles such as parades in five states.

His younger brother Luis Carlos Guerra-Ruiz is also serving in the Air Force in Abilene.

Guerra-Ruiz graduated from Tech School in the Honor Guard, where servicemen go through the different elements. One of them was the Pallbearer Element, which involves extensive physical training.

“To get selected to the position I was, you have to excel at everything in the element,” Guerra-Ruiz said. “The officers then choose the most qualified. I became a fully qualified bearer and trainer.”

Only one representative of the Air Force was selected for each portion of the funeral and memorial services. Pallbearers from each of the branch of the military were chosen for the Capitol, the Cathedral in Houston, and the actual gravesite.

Guerra-Ruiz was chosen for the services at the Capitol, which had extensive worldwide media coverage.

“It means more for us to be the only one representing the Air Force,” Guerra-Ruiz said. “It was even more rewarding to do Barbara Bush’s service as well. Not many people have the opportunity to bury a President and First Lady. That was something special to me.”

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