Assembly's Salas honors Hanford soldier with Memorial Highway Dedication

By The Leader Staff
Assm. Rudy Salas
Assm. Rudy Salas

Assemblymember Rudy Salas, who currently represents Lemoore and Hanford, helped to pass Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 157,  designating a portion of State Route 198 in Hanford as the “Army Specialist Juan Miguel Mendez Covarrubias Memorial Highway.”

Salas was joined in Sacramento by Spc. Mendez Covarrubias’ mother, father, and family members traveled to the State Capitol to pay tribute to his memory. Spc. Mendez Covarrubias fell in the line of duty during a rocket attack at Camp Taji in Iraq on March 11, 2020. 

“I am proud to author ACR 157 to create a permanent tribute to Spc. Mendez Covarrubias’ service, bravery, and ultimate sacrifice,” said Salas. “He served his country with honor and distinction, and our community will never forget his sacrifice. This is a deeply humbling moment, and my heartfelt condolences and sympathies are with his family.”

Mendez Covarrubias entered the Army in June 2018 as a signal support systems specialist. In March 2019, he was assigned to the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, and was then deployed to Iraq in support of the Inherent Resolve mission. 

“We are grateful and thank Assemblymember Rudy Salas for honoring the memory of our son,” said Monica Mendez, Spc. Covarrubias’ mother. “He was a very special son, a good brother, a loving husband, a great human being, and a hero for this great nation. We will always be grateful to all those who have supported us since the loss of our son, especially Assemblymember Salas, his Field Representative Alicia Ramirez, and his entire team, for keeping the memory of our hero alive. As his mother, I am and will always be very proud of my son.”

Covarrubias was awarded multiple decorations and medals during his service, including the Global War on Terrorism Medal, National Defense Service Ribbon, and Army Service Ribbon. ACR 157 will now be enrolled with the Secretary of State, and work will begin on creating road signs for the new memorial highway.  

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