Indio City Council to Honor U.S. Army Veteran For Service

City News Service

INDIO (CNS) – City officials Wednesday will honor a U.S. Army veteran for his service to the local veteran community in observance of “Hunter Lopez Day.”

During the Indio City Council’s 5 p.m. meeting Wednesday, Mayor Oscar Ortiz will celebrate Ralph Duarte, the senior veterans representative for the County of Riverside Veterans Services for over 10 years, according to a statement from the city.

“The Indio Council is welcoming our community to join us in honoring the brave life of Hunter Lopez and his mission of helping others,” Ortiz said in a statement. “Former Army Ranger Ralph Duarte is an inspiration to me, the Council and many others for his unending desire to aid his fellow veterans. He is a great model of the spirit of Hunter’s mission.”

Though Duarte will not be in attendance at the council meeting due to his graduation ceremony — where he’ll be receiving a master’s degree — Marine Corps veteran Keanu Stoneburner will accept the proclamation on behalf of Duarte.

Duarte served with the 3rd Ranger Battallion for four years, completed two tours in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan, according to city officials. He also has accreditations in the National Association of County Veterans Service Officers, California Department of Veterans Affairs, American Legion, Military Order of Purple Heart, and Disabled Veterans among others.

The city presents a proclamation to a current or former armed forces member each year to express gratitude for Corporal Hunter Lopez, a local hero who lost his life at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2021 alongside 12 other U.S. service members.

Aug. 26 was designated Hunter Lopez Day to commemorate his impact, according to city officials.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

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