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Local Heroes

We Salute You

 PFC Rayce Pekarovich 

91B – Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic  

3-34th Quartermaster Company. Petroleum Supply 

Senior at Prairie Central High Schoo

PFC (Private First Class, which is his rank in the Army). Enlisted in the Army Reserve, meaning he stays home and lives his normal life, but is still enlisted in the Army. Trains one weekend a year and can be called up when needed. 


91B (91Bravo) is his occupation in the Army, which is a wheeled vehicle mechanic. He and other soldiers like him are part of a unit called 334th Quartermaster Company that specialize in “fueling the fight”, delivering fuel in bulk when and where needed. 


He is currently a Senior at Prairie Central High School and runs track and field. 


  Staff Sergeant Dennis Randal Robinson

 Corpus Christi Recruiting Company 

San Antonio Recruiting Battalion 

San Antonio Recruiting Brigade 

United States Army Recruiting Command 

 SSG Robinson entered the Army in 2008 and served as a Private (E-2) for the 

288th QM Co. in Corpus Christi, Texas (TX). In June of 2008 he attended Basic 

Training at Fort Knox, and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Leonard 

Wood. After graduating AIT, he returned to the 288th QM Co. as a Horizontal 

Construction Engineer. He assisted with the planning and preparation of water 

purification sites for two Annual Training (AT) rotations. 

In June of 2015, he attended the Warrior Leader Course (WLC) in Camp Ashland, Nebraska (NE) and was promoted to Sergeant in August of 2015. 

In February of 2016, he attended Water Purification Specialist (92W) Reclassification course, where he graduated as the Distinguished Honor Graduate. Shortly thereafter, in September of 2016, he attended and graduated the 92W Advanced Leader Course (ALC) in Fort Dix, New Jersey as the Honor Graduate. 

In October of 2016, SSG Robinson was transferred to the 275th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion (CSSB) to serve as the Water Treatment Supervisor in the Support Operations (SPO) section. He was officially promoted to Staff Sergeant in May of 2017 just before he deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. 

SSG Robinson was deployed to Iraq from June of 2017 to March of 2018, where he served as both the Water Treatment Supervisor, and the Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) Noncommissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) for the Battalion. 

In July of 2019, SSG Robinson was transferred to the 437th Civil Affairs (CA) Battalion in Fort Story where he served as the Team Sergeant for Charlie Company’s Team 1. He attended the Civil Affairs (38B) Reclassification course in November of 2019 in Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. 

In October of 2020, he was accepted into the AGR program as a Recruiter (79R) and graduated from the Army Recruiter Course in December 2020 on the Commandant’s List. 

SSG Robinson has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal; Army Achievement Medal (w/3OLC); the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (w/3OLC); the National Defense Service Medal; the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (w/”2” device); the Army Service Ribbon; the Overseas Service Ribbon; the Armed Forces Reserve Medal (w/”M” device and bronze hourglass), the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; and the Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal (w/ CS) 

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Staff Sergeant Eric Ontiveros 


Staff Sergeant Ontiveros Eric. Was born in Bakersfield, CA. He joined the Army in August 2016 and shipped to Basic Training and One Stop Unit Training. After completion of initial entry training, SSG Ontiveros was assigned to 2/11 ACR at Fort Irwin. After serving at Fort Irwin, he volunteered for an airborne assignment where he then was stationed at Fort Bragg, NC. While stationed at Ft. Bragg SSG Ontiveros deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan under 2-501 Parachute Infantry Regiment 1st Brigade 82nd Airborne.

Staff Sergeant Ontiveros’s assignments include Basic Training and One Stop Unit Training at Fort Benning GA, Fort Irwin CA, and Fort Bragg NC. SSG Ontiveros has held positions as a rifleman, Tow2b gunner, 249 gunner, 240 gunner, Team Leader, Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant, and Air Movement Officer.

SSG Ontiveros has attended numerous military schools and training programs to include: BLC, ALC, Air Movement Officer Course, Basic Airborne Course, Air Assault Course, Small Weapons Leader Course, Foreign Weapons Course, Army Retention and Recruiting College, Level 1 Combatives, and Combat Life Savers Course.

His awards and decorations include: Army Commendation Medal x3, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal X4, Joint Meritorious Unit Award,
Meritorious Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal X2, National Defense
Service Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Ribbon, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and Army Recruiting Badge.


SSG Robert Hernandez

PMOS: 31B Military Police

SMOS: 11C Infantry (Mortarman)

Enlisted October 2007

October 2007 – February 2008

One Station Unit Training Fort Benning, GA

D Co. 1-19th -  INFANTRY


February 2008 – May  2011: HHC 3-21 Infantry Battalion - Fort Wainwright, AK. Deployed Diyala Province, Iraq. A Co. 3-21 Infantry Battalion - Fort Wainwright, AK


May 2011 – August 2011: One Station Unit Training -  Fort Leonard Wood, MO B Co. 787th - MILITARY POLICE 


August  2011 – April 2014

HHC United State Army Garrison - Fort Stewart, GA

197 MP Detachment – Fort Stewart, GA

April 2014 – April  2015: 1st Bridge Special Troops Battalion - Camp Humphreys, South Korea

April 2015 – March 2018: 411th MP Co. – Fort Hood, TX

Deployed Niger, Agadez

April 2018 – June 2023

Corpus Christi Recruiting Station – Corpus Christi, TX


Staff Sergeant Ivan Rivera

Fort Worth Company

Burleson Recruiting Station

Staff Sergeant Rivera was born in San Angelo, Texas. He enlisted into the United

States Army in August of 2015.

He attended Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson,

South Carolina and Advanced Individual Training at

Fort Lee, Virginia. After graduating as an

Ammunition Specialist, he was assigned to 325th

BSB, 3rd BCT, 25th Infantry Division Schofield

Barracks, HI. After completing his time, he was

assigned to 664th Ordnance Company, 13th ESC Fort

Hood, Texas. He then attended the Army Recruiter

Course and was assigned to Dallas Recruiting

Battalion where he is currently serving as a recruiter

for Burleson Army Recruiting Center, Fort Worth

Company, Dallas Battalion.

His Military Awards include Army Commendation Medal (2nd leaf cluster), Army

Achievement Medal (8th Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Good Conduct Medal (2nd award).

His Military education include Advanced Leader Course, Hazmat, Fuel Handlers, Unit

Armor, Combative level 1.

His short-term goals are to be the top recruiter in Brigade and attend Air Assault and

Airborne School. His long-term goals are to complete his Bachelors in Business and

open his own Real Estate Firm.


Staff Sergeant Blas Gastelum

Staff Sergeant Blas Gastelum was born on July 13, 1987, and grew up in  Anaheim, California. He attended Magnolia High School and has since become a dedicated single father to two daughters, Valentina (7) and Andrea (4).

Blas's military journey began in 2010 when he underwent One Station Unit Training (OSUT) as a Cavalry Scout in the U.S. Army. He specializes in both mounted and dismounted reconnaissance, excelling in gathering critical intelligence on enemy positions, vehicle locations, weapons, and activities.

He bravely served on a deployment in Afghanistan in 2010 and has participated in multiple rotations to European countries, including Germany, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary. His exceptional skills and dedication led to his selection as a representative for Fort Hood in the prestigious Gainey Cup, where he competed against teams from across the Army and various countries at Fort Benning. Additionally, Blas achieved the remarkable feat of securing the third position in the best marksman competition at Fort Hood in 2013.

Outside of his military duties, Blas enjoys quality time with his beloved daughters and indulges in his passions for dirt biking, riding Harleys, and practicing archery.

Blas Gastelum's impressive list of awards and decorations includes:

  • 4 Army Commendation Medals

  • 4 Army Achievement Medals

  • 3 Army Good Conduct Medals

  • 1 National Defense Service Medal

  • 2 Afghanistan Campaign Medals

  • 1 Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

  • 1 Army Service Medal


Staff Sergeant Jeremy Bryant

Staff Sergeant Jeremy Bryant, a local high school graduate from Broken Arrow, OK, joined the Army late in life. In his 13-year career as a cryptologic linguist, he has studied twice at the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio of Monterey, California. He first served with the 10th Mountain (Light Infantry) Division at Fort Drum, New York, where he deployed to Paktiya Province, Afghanistan from 2013 to 2014. His contributions, along with his fellow Soldiers, resulted in his Unit being awarded the National Security Agency, Commanders Cup. He supported the National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Maryland and later served with the 101st Airborne Division, 1st Brigade, at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. While with the 101st Staff Sergeant worked with Operation Allies Welcome as the lead linguist, welcoming more than 10,000 Afghans to the United States, following the shutdown of our time in Afghanistan. Staff Sergeant Bryant then volunteered to recruit for the United States Army in his home city of Broken Arrow.

In Staff Sergeant Bryant’s short career, he has been awarded the Humanitarian Service, Joint Service Commendation, Army Commendation, Army Achievement, and Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medals. He has also taken advantage of the Army’s education benefits and earned his associate degree in Persian Studies and bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies, all while serving on Active Duty.

Staff Sergeant Bryant gives credit for all his accomplishments to God and his amazing wife and 6 children who have both endured and enjoyed so much at the hand of the Army.


Staff Sergeant Jeremy Bryant



Staff Sergeant Christopher Garcia was born and raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. SSG Garcia attended and graduated from Putnam City North High School in 2010. He is currently attending Post University to earn his bachelor’s degree in information system technology. SSG Garcia Enlisted in the United States Army on August 7, 2017. SSG Garcia wanted to make a difference in his life and left everything behind to serve his country. SSG Garcia Graduated advanced individual Training as a 91B Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic on February 1, 2018, and attended and graduated from the United States Army Airborne School on March 2, 2018.

SSG Garcia was assigned as a Paratrooper to Delta Troop 1-73 Calvary, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82D Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. SSG Garcia became a Jumpmaster before Deploying as the immediate response force in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in May of 2020. Upon returning from deployment, SSG Garcia earned his Senior Parachutist Badge. SSG Garcia completed the Army Recruiters Course on March 23rd, 2023, where he is now assigned to Oklahoma City West Recruiting Company as an Army Recruiter on NW Expressway.


Some of SSG Garcia's awards include three Army Commendation Medals, Four Army Achievement Medals, National Defense Service Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal 2nd Award, Operation Inherent Resolve Campaign medal with two bronze stars.


SSG Garcia enjoys working out, spending time with family, playing video games, and working on vehicles.  

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