3RD MARINE DIVISION
Date of Birth:
Awards & Decorations:
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JAMES CABARUBIO, CORPORAL, USMC, ODESSA, ECTOR COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal with "V" device, Marine Corp Commendation’s Medal, Navy Achievement Medal with “V”, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal
James Cabarubio was born in San Angelo, Texas. He was known as “Jimmy”. His parents divorced and his mother moved the family to Odessa. His mother remarried and there were six children living in the home. He attended school in San Angelo and in Odessa. He attended Ector High School through his sophomore year. He worked downtown in Odessa as a shoeshine boy and also selling the Odessa American on the street corners and to downtown businesses. The family was large and the house was small. He loved animals and always had them near him. He had a difficult time in school and was always working trying to help his family. He dropped out of high school his sophomore year and enlisted in the Marine Corp June 6, 1966 a month after turning 17. He felt that he should not be a drain on his family as there were five brothers and sisters still living at home.
An acquaintance, Anita Jessup of Odessa wrote of Jimmy, “I first met Jimmy when he was a shoe-shine boy on the streets of Odessa, Texas. He would come by the radio station where my husband worked and ask the DJ's if they wanted to buy a newspaper. Since they could never find the paper from their subscription they would buy one from him. Later, after they came to care for Jimmy, they realized that he was selling them their own newspaper! Nobody minded, however, because they all liked Jimmy so much. He was a hard working young man who told us that at home he slept in a closet with his dog. Later we heard that he worked in the K-9 Corp in the service. When I bought my first home Jimmy walked a considerable distance to my house to bring me a house-warming gift. That was about 1965.”
Ector High School-1964
Jimmy completed his recruit training at the United States Marine Corp Recruit Training Depot at San Diego, California. He completed ITR at Camp Pendleton, California. He completed a 13 month tour in Vietnam in 1967 to early 1968 as a rifleman. After his tour, he volunteered to enter K-9 training because of his love of dogs, realizing that it would mean a second tour in Vietnam as soon as the training was completed. He trained with the Army and with other Marines who were selected into this special training. He returned to Vietnam for a second tour on November 23, 1968.
In Vietnam with His Scout Dog-Second Tour
He was assigned to the 3rd MP Company, First Force Services Regiment, 3rd Marine Division as a scout dog handler. He and his dog would work with various infantry units on patrols and in special situations where the dog could smell out the enemy and alert to possible ambushes and booby traps. Jimmy loved this duty and loved working with the dogs. He had a special affection for them. On June 18, 1969 while on patrol with an infantry unit, the marines came under intense rocket and mortar fire. Jimmy and his dog were both killed when hit by shrapnel. Jimmy died doing what he loved doing.
Hollywood Cemetery, Houston, Texas
He was buried with full military honors in the Hollywood Cemetery in Houston, Texas. He was survived by his mother, Jesuita Garcia and his step father of Odessa. He was also survived by his sisters, Jo Ann Guiterrez of Houston,; Sharon Gamboa of Laurel, Maryland; and his brothers, Ritchie and Louis Cabarubio and his half brother, Tony Garcia, all of the home.