Armando was born in Harbor City, CA. He was extremely smart; when he was in 7th grade, he took the ACT college entrance exam and placed higher than most junior and senior students in high school, thus earning him a state recognition at Texas A&M University. He also competed in UIL events all throughout his school years, winning many awards. When it came time for the ASVAB, he received a perfect score of 99. His math skills and love for history were definitely what kept our family dinners very entertaining.

Armando was a quiet, yet very caring person. He was a regular blood and plasma donor at Gulf Coast Blood Center and was on their recurring program. He had a heart for children with autism, homeless people, and nature’s beauty.

When Armando broke the news he was enlisting in the Marines at the end of his senior year in high school, his mother begged him not to go. His response was, “‘If Not Me, Then Who.’ You always say this country has given our family the American dream. I am ready to serve and pay it forward.” This phrase was one of his favorites. He lived his life following it and is the reason we chose to have it engraved on his headstone and on the bench dedicated in his honor.

Armando left for bootcamp in San Diego on August 12, 2019 and graduated on November 8, 2019. He spent a month in Camp Pendleton conducting Marine Combat Training and moved to the Army Quartermaster School in Fort Lee, Virginia. In July of 2020 he received orders to Okinawa, Japan after completing initial Electro-Optical Repair School and reported to 3d Maintenance Battalion, 3d Marine Logistics Group and was assigned to Ordnance Repair Platoon.

While assigned to Ordnance Maintenance, Lance Corporal Hernandez conducted multiple operational and training events. Some of the most notable were Jungle Warfare Training, Lance Corporals Leadership and Ethics Seminar, Helicopter Egress training along with many Company, Battalion Events, and Field Training Events.

On the personal side, we would be remiss if we did not mention his love for his family and friends. His genuine heart, along with the combination of his calm quiet presence, steady demeanor, and can-do attitude won him many loyal and faithful friends. Armando was wise beyond his years and would light up the room with his interesting character. Armando made a home of the barracks and was the glue who kept the Marines together. He celebrated holidays and birthdays for the boys on base and cooked homemade recipes to make a home away from home for them. Lance Corporal Hernandez passed away in an accident on base while on active duty. He is loved by many and will be missed.

Character Strength Story:

KINDNESSOne memorable day, he showed up at my work—which was next door to his school—with a stray dog on a leash and announced that we needed to leave right away because the stray was hungry. We fed him and as we were giving him a bath we got a phone call from the school telling us the owner was at the office looking for his dog. The owner said the dog was missing for two months but, after a post went viral on Facebook where Armando was walking with the dog on school grounds, the owner recognized it. Of course in good spirit Armando returned the dog, but he had already decided on the name Benny, and was hurt to see his friend leave so soon.

—Submitted by Ana, Surviving Mother


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