As a child, William Valladares visited the Miami Dolphins stadium with his youth football team, where he was able to catch a pass from Hall of Famer Dan Marino. To this day, he says that the experience stuck with him and helped cement his lifelong love for all things Miami Dolphins.
Decades later, that beaming childhood memory came full circle as Valladares was recognized by the Miami Dolphins as an Everyday Hero. Everyday Hero is a program that was started by the Dolphins to recognize and award a military service member with a $1,000 City Furniture gift card, as an expression of gratitude for their service.
After five years of dedicated service in the U.S. Navy, Valladares is more than worthy of this honor. A proud Veteran of a Foreign War, Valladares was stationed on a Spruance Class Destroyer USS O’Bannon DD987 on the MK 41 VLS Cruise Missile System. Additionally, he acted as an intricate part of the ship’s vessel boarding, search and seizure team.
His past deployments included Operation Desert Shield in the Persian Gulf in 1997 and UNITAS (sea exercises and in-port training involving several different countries) in 1999. Thanks to his work ethic and attention to detail, he was awarded with The Armed Force Expeditionary Medal and the Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
To this day, Valladares reminds us that he first joined the military simply because of his love for his country, after John F. Kennedy posed the question, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”