Name: Raymond DeSoto
Service branch: Marine Corps
DeSoto is being honored as the July Humboldt Hero in a special ceremony at Arcata Ball Park ahead of the Crabs game on Tuesday. Tickets to the game are required to attend.
DeSoto was born on Oct. 5, 1989, to Ray and Regina Desoto. He attended Gospel Outreach Church School from elementary school through high school.
After graduating in 2008, DeSoto considered what to do with his life. His friend Robert Barney joined the Marine Corps, so Desoto checked them out, too.
DeSoto remembers liking the core values: honor, courage, and commitment. That fit, so he enlisted.
DeSoto’s time in the Marine Corps began in 2008 when he went to Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego for his basic training and was assigned an infantry, military occupation specialty.
After completing basic training, DeSoto went to combat training at Camp Pendleton. The goal of the training is to prepare Marines for being professional fighters.
DeSoto was pulled out of his original military occupational specialty and sent to Virginia for special training with the Marine Corps Security Force Regiment.
After finishing the elite school, DeSoto was sent to Naval Base Kitsap in Bangor, Washington, to provide security for our nation’s nuclear weapons arsenal.
DeSoto was then sent to Japan for additional training in operating and placing remote sensors on the battlefield as a trained ground sensor operator. He also earned the rank of corporal.
DeSoto was then deployed to Afghanistan to help detect insurgents coming across the border from Pakistan into Afghanistan. The mission for his team was to track people, observe areas where it was likely for an insurgent to attack our Marines with improvised explosive devices, set up surveillance, and capture them. Their expertise saved lives and gained strategic intelligence.
After DeSoto’s tour in Afghanistan, he returned to the U.S. and was discharged from active duty in 2013 into the reserves, when he earned the rank of sergeant.
DeSoto returned to Humboldt County after receiving an honorable discharge for serving the country and enrolled at Humboldt State University, where he earned a degree in business administration. He worked his way through Humboldt State through his job at the Ingomar Club while he also worked on his video and marketing skills.
DeSoto served as a volunteer for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program to provide toys for needy children at Christmas time.
If you go
What: Monthly Humboldt Heroes celebration.
When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Arcata Ball Park, 888 F St., Arcata. Social distancing and masks recommended.
Nominate a “Humboldt Hero”: “Humboldt Heroes” normally honors local veterans on the last Friday of the month. If you’d like to nominate a local veteran for recognition, or help sponsor the ongoing program, contact State Farm insurance agent Scott Hammond at 707-444-2504.