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Security Aide Brings Military Measures to Dreyfoos

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Security Aide Brings Military Measures to Dreyfoos

Officer Louis Valdez stands with medals he has received throughout his military service.

Officer Louis Valdez stands with medals he has received throughout his military service.

Photo by Julia Horneck

Officer Louis Valdez stands with medals he has received throughout his military service.

Photo by Julia Horneck

Photo by Julia Horneck

Officer Louis Valdez stands with medals he has received throughout his military service.

Jack Yan, News Editor

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Since the Sandy Hook Elementary School incident in 2012, security at Dreyfoos has increased significantly. Principal Dr. Susan Atherley personally began hiring security aids in addition to normal school security. Since then, Dreyfoos has been through three security aids who all have received military training.

Office Louis Valdez, is the newest security aid at Dreyfoos. After two decades in active military service, he has decided to take a civilian job and help improve security at Dreyfoos.

“I was looking for something where I could use the skills that I learned in the military to ensure that people would benefit from those skills,” Officer Louis said. “Not only that, it gives me the opportunity to deal with a positive environment. Being around so many positive and creative people also helps me.”

A job as a security aid has proven to be a perfect fit for Officer Louis, who is in charge of manning security at the gate during school hours. This entails long hours alone and under the sun.

“Not everything in the military teaches you to do aggressive things.  It teaches you to be disciplined about yourself,” Officer Louis said. “It’s easier to change a person’s destiny than to change his [or her] character, and the military has taught me to maintain my character in whatever I’m doing. Once you have good character, people are always going to look at you in a positive way.”

Officer Louis’ service is decorated by over 20 award medals including a purple heart for injury, two presidential unit citations for extraordinary heroism in action and a humanitarian service medal for saving a life. He is a trained ranger, sniper and certified in high altitude-low opening jumps, also known as a HALO jump.

“I joined the military in 1977 and went to infantry school in Fort Benning, Georgia,” Officer Louis said. “I worked in Panama for about three years. Then we got deployed in Grenada to rescue the medical students [in] the Grenada invasion. I [also] got deployed to Panama for the Panama Invasion, Desert Storm for the Kuwait Liberation [and] Mogadishu in 1992 for Task Force Ranger as part of the Delta Team, which they made the ‘Black Hawk Down’ Movie from.”

Officer Louis joined the military after high school so his father could afford to send his brother and sister to college. What seemed like a sacrifice at first proved to be beneficial.

“Life is full of sacrifices. I made a sacrifice not expecting to change everything in my life. My sacrifice turned out to be a positive thing,” Officer Louis said. “I loved the military. It gave me the opportunity to get an education.”

In the military, Officer Louis received an associate degree from the University of Hawaii while he was stationed there.

“I’d go to school on a Saturday morning or take a class on Friday night,” Officer Louis said. “I had to go back to school because learning is an important factor in life. Everything now is learning. If you don’t teach yourself how to learn then you won’t make it in anything.”

Officer Louis has served in extraordinary situations for the United States. He has worked as part of the Rangers and the Delta Force and has worked with the Navy Seals. He was assigned as a medic to the Delta Force team, meaning he was the first person to deal with injuries, along with accomplishing the rest of the mission.

“The most important part that has stayed with me is that I can stand here and know that I defended the freedom that you have. That pride that I can stand here and say ‘Okay, for 22 years I defended this country’s constitution and freedom,’” Officer Louis said. “My wife has her own opinion; she thinks I’m a hero. I don’t see myself as a hero. I just want to be a normal guy.”

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About the Writer
Jack Yan, News Editor

Communications senior Jack Yan is a third-year staffer and the News Editor on The Muse. He not only writes the news but has an unhealthy obsession with...

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Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts | 501 S. Sapodilla Ave, WPB, FL 33401
Security Aide Brings Military Measures to Dreyfoos