Dion Dorado dedicated 18 years of his life to his country as a U.S. Marine and U.S. Army soldier. On July 2, he was working as an advisor and mentor under a Department of Defense contract for DynCorp International. While stationed in Afghanistan, the company’s barracks were destroyed during an attack by a suicide truck bomb.
Dorado had a pair of eyeglasses from Stanton Optical with him at the time.
“While searching my living quarters, I located my glasses in a neighboring room under the debris I had been buried under earlier,” he said. “My glasses were destroyed, with one lens missing and the other polycarbonate lenses fractured. I did have a habit of falling asleep with my glasses on but am not sure if this acted as protection for my eyes.”
After returning to the United States, Dorado brought his glasses to the Stanton Optical store in Visalia to get a replacement pair. The optical company normally covers 20% of the replacement cost on damaged glasses, but after hearing Dorado’s story, the local sales manager contacted his district manager, Brad Rodman.
Stanton Optical agreed to replace Dorado’s glasses at no charge.
“We are trying to locate the Nike frame so we can replace them,” said Clint Olivas, sales manager at the Visalia store, who had some nice things to say about Dorado. “He’s a great guy. He has a video of the aftermath that is pretty intense. His barracks were completely destroyed while he was asleep.”
Dorado’s award from DynCorp gives a brief summary of what happened during the attack: “At 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013, an enormous explosion ripped through Camp Pinnacle, Afghanistan. Insurgents then penetrated the breach in the wall – with the sole purpose of killing as many people as possible. That day, we lost three fellow co-workers who will never be forgotten.”
Richard McEvoy, program manager for DynCorp International, thanked Dorado for his service. “On behalf of a grateful company, please accept this certificate of appreciation for your efforts that day and the days afterwards,” he said. “Your courage and determination allowed our program to keep operating. You make DynCorp a great company and it’s an honor to serve with you.”
“I would like to mention that although this is a terrible event that occurred, I feel as if without the brave souls of my teammates who had valiantly fought to repel this attack we would have suffered greater losses,” said Dorado. “To those warriors of Elbrus barracks, I am forever grateful to had served and fought alongside of you that day.”