Shane Ruiz

United States Marine Corps, and Purple Heart awarded veteran.

At the tender age of 18 with the United States Marine Corps “Devil Pup” Program under his belt and family affected from the terrorists attacks on September 11, it was inevitable Shane Ruiz’s life would change forever once he walked thru the doors of the US Army recruiting office. From there he would continue to boot camp then onto the arduous pursuit of deployment into the foothills of the Himalayans mountains, deep into no mans land of Southeast Afghanistan. Everyone was trained to approach the battlefield the same way, however, this moment in the journey would prove to shape or break them. Ruiz explains this experience consists of two groups of individuals. He says “Their very existence is defined by a victory and the act to survive. This served as a peculiar reality, which began as a choice and eventually became irreversible compulsion. Death may have struck, but the drive to carry on in the moment would inject like a toxic drug. “ After a 120+ man enemy attack on his position, Ruiz was awarded the Purple Heart in addition to 18 other medals/citations during his distinguished service.  

The bond within the military community is irreplaceable and unforgettable and Shane carries and holds it in his heart everywhere he goes. MTM WATCH recognizes Shane as more than a combatant and Purple Heart recipient, which is why we are truly honored to have him as an MTM WATCH Ambassador.  

Just like MTM WATCH, Shane began his militant career in response to the need for dependable, reliable and fearless performers in the battlefield that can deliver the pinnacle in performance, which is no easy task. No matter the situation, endurance, strength and stealth won the internal battle to surpass the war his body faced in the battlefield. We salute Shane for his services and are proud he represents MTM WATCH. 

Nowadays you can find Shane in sunny Southern California dabbling in his hobbies like surfing, hiking or somewhere on the beach with his MTM Watch fastened securely around his wrist. “Mother Nature is no match for MTM products” Ruiz laughs. But his most current and fulfilling hobby is spent working with Veterans. He currently assists them by helping find their first job, finding a better career and helping them find passion outside military life. “It’s scary to think about when you get out. Any veteran reading this, regardless if they did a short amount of time or did the ‘full pull’ career, will agree when I ask the question: “What is next?”. It takes time. “ For some, the transition from military life into every day civilian life is everything but smooth. Many experience a difficult time and don’t have someone to call for advice, a shoulder to lean or cry on, or discuss what’s inside their heart.  This was very evident to Shane and part of the reason why he was compelled to create positive change with The Lion Hearted Project is an online platform dedicated for veterans to articulate their stories through art and film. “Difficult times are difficult for a reason. However, if you allow others to listen, you can sail home to yourself.” 

 “Combat engraves its way in to the body and completely ensnares itself around the soul. Insistently, excruciatingly, completely. It is ever present. The memories of war that have taken up residence in my soul are always the ones I fought beside….the ones who made it back and the ones who were taken from us forever. War can be the birthplace of warriors” says Ruiz. He walks away with honor, knowing he is a part of history and served amongst the best with excellent training and leadership. In the end, It’s about giving back to something much bigger than yourself.  

CAMP TILLMAN, AFGHANISTAN - OCTOBER 15:   American soldiers look into Pakistan from an U.S. outpost Oct. 15, 2006 near Camp Tillman, Afghanistan just two kilometers from the Pakistan border. Some 20 Taliban rockets were fired at the U.S. camp manned by soldiers from the 2-87 Infantry just the previous night, although no one was injured. Army officials say that Taliban insurgents continue to mount attacks from the Pakistani side of the border. Camp Tillman was named for Arizona Cardinals football star Pat Tillman, who gave up his NFL career and joined the U.S. Army Rangers to fight in the war on terror. He was killed in 2004 while on combat operations in Afghanistan near the Pakistan border.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)