By: Beth D’Amato – April, 2017
Julian Jaramillo was born in Brownsville, Texas on January 31,1972. He comes from a strong military family which is why he says he entered the service right out of high school in 1991. Julian served from 1991 to 2006.
As a United States Marine, Julian was deployed to Iraq in 2005, where he was assigned to capture the most wanted guys under Saddam Hussein.
At that time, his team was on an unconventional sniper mission. Julian says that operating in a smaller group allowed them to keep a low profile in enemy territory and remain hidden from the enemy as much as they could.
Julian told The Valley Patriot that his team set up small check points to inspect suspicious vehicles.
“On one particular night, a car came through the check point. We detained the man,” Julian said.
“He had a bunch of numbers written in Arabic on pieces of paper in his pocket and in his car. We had an interpreter with us and he asked me to watch the guy’s face while he asked him a question. When he asked a question, the guy hesitated with his answer. The interpreter said this guy is lying. He said this guy is a BAD guy.”
Julian says this bad guy had a list, or a data sheet on him containing the name and address of an Iraqi Engineer.
Also on the list were detailed descriptions of the engineer’s car, house, windows, doors, floor plan, his family, kids, ages, etc. Being overly suspicious, Julian and his team brought the man in for questioning. As time went on it was clear the man was an assassin. The engineer he had the info on was a man to be assassinated. The victim was one of the engineers leading the rebuilding and restructuring of the new Iraqi government. The assassin that Julian and his team had captured was on his way to meet up with the rest of an insurgence team to take him out. Instead, Julian’s team took him to a prison at Abu Ghraib.
Julian also detailed the time he and his team detained a guy who had all the makings of a bomb in his trunk; propane tanks, gas tanks, wiring, cell phones, etc. He was on his way to somebody’s house to rig up their vehicle.
“Of course, this didn’t feel right so we detained him.”
Julian says he had to go to Iraqi court in Baghdad to testify against this guy. Julian spoke some Arabic which would aid him well during the court case. The judge and the Muslim terrorist were going back and forth about the events leading up to his being detained. The terrorist said he would have stopped at the checkpoint but didn’t see Julian’s team. The judge, however, figured out what was going on and used an Arabic word for sniper. That’s when Julian spoke up and repeated the word to the judge. They had a brief conversation about how Julian was on a rooftop and saw this guy go near the check point and stop. Then he tried to drive through the check point as they shot at his tires and car to stop him.
“Why the car didn’t explode when we shot it, I have no idea. Apparently, it wasn’t his time to go,” Julian says.
The terrorist was sent to a jail in Baghdad.
Julian said he was excited to be able to testify in Iraqi court and marveled at how the court system there held hearings, tried and convicted the insurgents and other bad guys so he wouldn’t have to kill them.
Julian says a lot of the sniper missions were surveillance and rooftop watches to they could oversee the area to make sure no one tries to plant road side bombs to kill our own troops. “A couple times we witnessed road-side bombs being planted and we basically just took them out.”
Julian Jaramillo retired from military service in 2006. He traveled extensively when he was discharged and says his love of motorcycles led him to attend a motorcycle mechanic school in Orlando, Florida. The dorms were like those from the movie Animal House, he recalled, and he wasn’t financially able to get an apartment. But, he had his jeep, and a tent and says he set up in the back of a campground so he could attend school.
Eventually, he ended up working at a motorcycle shop in Alabama where he lived with close friend and fellow marine, Natasha Young, a Valley Patriot of the Month (May, 2008).
During this time, Julian developed terrible aches and pains associated with combat. His body was just worn out. Julian says the pain was so bad in his hands and back he could no longer use a wrench to fix his beloved motorcycles. His friend, Natasha had secured herself a position at Veterans Northeast Outreach Center (VNOC) in Haverhill, Massachusetts and put Julian in contact with Randy Carter the Projects/Programs Manager. Carter was a Valley Patriot of the Month in Feb, 2016).
In May of 2014, Julian finally moved to Massachusetts and was offered the position of housing specialist at VNOC. His job was to secure housing for fellow veterans. One of the first cases Julian worked on was the discovery of a veteran along with his wife and child living in their car. With all the resources VNOC had to offer (employment, education, housing and financial, etc.) Julian got this veteran into housing and on the road to recovery. The next time Julian saw him, he had become a social worker and drug abuse councilor in an adjoining community.
Julian pointed out that one of the many responsibilities in assisting homeless veterans is building relationships with landlords (which VNOC has done extensively). Over time, VNOC has also built a relationship with the non-profit Habitat for Humanity in the Merrimack Valley. Through this program they completed the first “Veterans Build” on Phillips Street in Lawrence for veteran families. This was done with the financial help of grants and generous donations.
Along the way, both Julian and Natasha acquired service dogs through a non-profit program for vets called Patriot Rovers. These service dogs are specially trained as medical alert and response dogs as well as other service tasks that veterans needs. They are not pets or emotional or therapy support animals. Natasha has Pax and Julian has Radar.
Julian received that Navy Marine Corp Accommodation V for Valor for service as a Sniper Team Leader, the Terrorism Medal, Two Navy Achievement Combat Action ribbons, the Expert Rifle and Pistol medal, and the Overseas Service Deployment medal.
Julian Jaramillo has served our country honorably and put his life on the line to protect our country and his fellow troops.
This month, The Valley Patriot is proud to honor Julian Jaramillo as our Hero In Our Midst. Thank you Julian for your service protecting our freedoms and thank you for coming back home and dedicating your life to helping other veterans here at home.