Thursday, December 10, 2020

In Memoriam Chev. don Raul Mena, Airbourne Soldier and Knight Bachelor of St. Stephen

Edited by Jean DuBois


Chev. don Raul Mena de Belén, KtB, a US airbourne soldier, knight of several orders, and Knight Bachelor of the Patriarchate of St. Stephen in the Commandery of Borgo Priolo recently died after a prolonged illness. Upon being informed, His Holy Eminence the Archfather Rutherford I stated, "He was a devoted Christian and family man, dedicated to service -- a man truly worthy of being a knight. He will be missed, and We will fondly remember his constant reminders to all of us never to quit and never to surrender." 

Chev. Mena was born in Los Angeles on Sept 6, 1954, He and his family lived in Lincoln Heights, Boyle Heights, & City Terrace until Raul was 3-years old, in 1957 the family moved to Monterey Park. 

Raul attended and Graduated from St. Stephens Catholic School in Monterey Park in May 1969,  

And from Cantwell High School in Montebello in May 1973.

Following high school; Raul, Attended East Los Angeles College and Los Angeles Trade Tech College, from Sept/1973 to June/1975.

After college he entered the United States Army in July 1975.

Raul served his tour with Co. A, 2nd Battalion. (Airborne) 508th Infantry of the 82nd Airborne Division,  

Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The 82nd Airborne Division Motto is “Wheels Up and Knees in the breeze in 18 hours”, this unit is the 1st Called and in Combat in 18 hours. During the 4 years there; this unit was called up twice, for the Panama Canal in Feb/ 1978 and Zaire, Africa in April/1978.

Military Schools: 

1. XVIII ABN-Corps Leadership and Command P.N.C.O. Academy,  

 2. Jungle Operations training in Panama, The Canal Zone

 3. Cold Warfare training in Ft. Drum, New York, 

 4. Amphibious Training in Little Creek, Virginia.

 5. Dessert Training, Gila Bend, Arizona 

Military Awards: 

Good Conduct Medal, Parachute badge, Expert Rifleman, Expert Dragon gunner (Anti Tank Team) Presidential unit citation, and Jungle Expert patch.

After the army, Raul started working for the City of Glendale on Oct. / 1980 as a Power line apprentice, to underground maintenance man, to Assistant Engineering Tech, to Construction Inspector, to Senior Construction Inspector, and to Electrical Service Planner. He worked for the city for 32 years.

Raul received his Associate Arts degree from East Los Angeles College in general education, an Associate Science degree from L.A. Trade Tech in electrical construction and maintenance, and a Certificate for Construction Inspector from Cal State LA and the City of Los Angeles. 

Raul is continuing his education to receive his Bachelors of Arts & Science in History.

He is a Life Member of the following veterans associations, 

82nd Airborne Division Association, CSM RAY VERDUGO MEMORIAL CHAPTER; 

AMVETS Post-113, the Inland Empire Airborne Association, Coachella Valley Airborne Association, 

The Hispanic American Airborne Association Los Angeles Chapter. And the Pomona All Airborne Chapter,

Other Post & Awards;

Chairman of the 82nd Airborne Division Association, CSM RAY VERDUGO CHAPTER;

From Jan/1998 to 2000 and Aug/2007 to December/2012

Former Chairman of the Glendale-Montrose-Crescenta Valley Veterans Memorial Committee; From Nov.1, 1994 to May 25, 1997,

On June 17, 2005 received the City of Glendale Junior Kiwanis “Admiral Ben Bass Award”, as Chairman of said committee.

On May 31, 2006, received the Certificate of Apostolic Blessing from Pope Benedict XVI for 10 years of parishioner service to St. Thomas Aquinas School;

Raul’s hobbies were family outings, making ship models, Teaching military, World, U.S. history, government history, Political Science and reading.

Raul lived in Glendale with his wife Yolanda of 23 years and their daughter Laura.  

After 32 Loyal Years, Raul Mena, Jr retired from the City of Glendale on September 1, 2012,