The Bronx Chronicle Veteran of the Week

Ruben R. Pratts

Award: Veterans’ Hall of Fame

Year: 2010

Pratts was born February 24, 1949 in Brooklyn, NY of Puerto Rican parents. His father, Francisco Rosa Pratts, arrived to New York in 1915 or 1916, while his mother, Juanita Figueroa arrived in 1938. His father served in the U.S. Army during WWII. After his parents met in 1940, they married in 1942 and had four children: three boys and one girl. In the 1950s, Ruben Pratts was a cub scout, until earning his status as a boy scout in the 1960s.

He attended All-Saints Parochial Catholic School and graduated in 1965, followed by Aviation High School, which he graduated from in 1967. In 1967, Pratts joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served in Vietnam in Nov. 1967. On Thanksgiving Day, he was assigned to the III-MAF with the 1st Marine Division, 7th Engineer Battalion I Corp DaNang in October 1968 to December 3, 1968 and then the 11th Marine Division and Engineer Phu Bai. While in Vietnam, Pratts helped save a fellow Marine under sniper fire and had him evacuated. One week later, as a result of the TET offense flare up, Pratts was wounded while on perimeter guard duty in the bunker. At the end of September, on patrol on Route 1, his truck was hit and he was wounded again alongside several other Marines and one K.I.A. Pratts returned to stateside Camp Lejuene, N.C. until March 1970 and was assigned to Kanahoe Bay Marine Air Station, Hawaii and discharged in April 1970.

Pratts has been awarded the following: Navy/Marine Corps-Purple Heart and Marine Good Conduct, National Defense Service Award-Vietnam Service and Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross-Vietnam Campaign, as well as a ribbon for Combat Action U.S.M.C. Pratt continues to serve his community, remaining actively involved in the following organizations: Community Board 3, Brooklyn, NY, The New York Health Hospital-Woodhull Medical Center Auxiliary Board, Local Precinct Council of the Police Department and a S.R.O Advisory Board.

He has also worked as a member of two block associations, serving as the President of both. Ruben Pratt has also devoted his time to cultural and ethnic associations, serving as the President of the National Federation of Puerto Rican Pioneers. Pratt’s military affiliations include: Military Order of the Purple Heart, Past New York State Commander twice, Commander Chapter 405, Brooklyn, NY, Senior Vice Commandant Marine Corps League #226, Disabled American Veteran #154 and Veteran of Foreign Wars. Currently, Pratt serves on the United War Council and on the New York Memorial Day Parade Committee as Chief Street Marshal.

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