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Mar 5, 2020

B.D.F. Pilot Laid to Rest in his Hometown

Adran Ramirez

We take a break from the House and head to Corozal Town where the third military funeral took place for this week. Hundreds of students and residents lined the streets as the Belize Defence Force carried the fallen officer to his final resting place. Major Adran Ramirez, the commander of the B.D.F. Air Wing, was killed along with three other officers when a helicopter crashed into the Gales Point Lagoon last week. The tragedy instantly plunged the nation into grief.  This morning’s ceremony was moving and poignant from start to finish as the loved ones of the pilot paid their last respects.  Here is Hipolito Novelo with a report.

 

Adran Ramirez [File: November 11th, 2014]

“I’m a family guy, I got two kids and a wife. I have a military career. I’m a pilot as well. I just do my best to serve this country for the last ten years in service. Presently, the Commanding Officer of the Air Wing.”

 

Reporter

“You’re from Ladyville?”

 

Adran Ramirez

“I live in Ladyville because of the job. I was born and raised in Corozal Town. My father is Mario Ramirez. My mother is Marilyn White. And they are the ones that brought me into this world and I have to give thanks to God and them.”

 

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

That was Major Adran Ramirez in November 2014, as he prepared for an MMA battle. And this was him the year before in 2013, inviting the public to the B.D.F. Open Day.

 

Adran Ramirez

Adran Ramirez [File: February 1st, 2013]

What we try to do is get the general public to see what we do as the B.D.F.—not just what is being portrayed. What you’ll see out there is hard work and what we have been trained to do. And we also have the play side of us. We are not just soldiers, we are also family members. We are trained discipline personnel. That’s why we have the theme; “Discipline Patriots serving with pride and integrity.”

 

Ramirez lived by that motto: serving with pride and integrity but on February twenty-eight his service came to an abrupt and tragic end. He was in this helicopter as it crashed near the Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary. Ramirez along with his comrades, Major Radford Baizar, and corporals Yassir Mendez and Reinaldo Choco were conducting air surveillance near a drug plane landing site when something went horribly wrong.

In his hometown of Corozal today, Ramirez was laid to rest with full military honours. His casket, adorned with the Belizean flag, was carried by six of his military brothers.

Ramirez joined the Belize Defence Force in 2004 as a member of recruit intake number forty-six. He was later selected to attend the Royal Air force at in the United Kingdom.

As the country remains in shock, today Ramirez’s family, friends and comrades gathered at Saint Paul’s Anglican Church to bid their final farewell to the pilot who was always faithful, always loyal.

 

Francis Usher

Lieutenant Francis Usher, B.D.F. Air Wing

“Major Ramirez loved his family and was always fateful to Alys, AJ, Angel Ayan. He loved them and he was always loyal to the organization, never forgetting the discipline and sacrifice that comes with being a soldier but also the honor that comes with serving your country. We all know Major Ramirez as a stellar pilot. This was a lifelong dream achieved for him. The journey began in 2008 when he went he went to the Caribbean Military Aviation School in Kingston Jamaica. After CMAS he returned home where he began to fly what I believe was his favorite aircraft, the mighty defender.”

In 2017, Ramirez completed the UH-1H conversion course and became a qualified rotary co-pilot on the Huey helicopter. In January 2019, he took command of the Air Wing and participated in several high powered conferences. Major Ramirez was much more than a pilot or a member of the Belize Defene Force. He was a father to three children and a husband. He remains a patriotic Belizean and his dedication and sacrifice to the country was today honored and acknowledged.

 

Brandon Garcia

Lt. Col. Brandon Garcia, Belize Defence Force

“Pilots share a core value personified by exampled thought service above self. Major Adran Claude Ramirez’s life epitomized that core value. As a serving member of the Belize Defence Force we risk our lives time and time again. We give everything to ensure that this nation maintains its sovereignty. We obey orders. We are the Belize Defence Force. But we are more than that. Your final orders Major Ramirez is to rest in paradise and my friend may God raise your soul to eternal peace.”

 

Ramirez’s wife, Alys, stood by her husband as he defended Belize’s sovereignty contributing to the country positively.

 

Alys Ramirez

Alys Ramirez, Wife of Deceased

“We miss him dearly and though we know that circumstance have raised many emotions in all of us positive and negative let us not forget why we all have gathered for Adran.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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