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A fresh start in UP for Ramos family

Military family finds its stride in the NW

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Sgt. Patrick Ramos doesn't mind the rain. In fact, he loves it.

 A native Texan, Ramos appreciates calling University Place, Washington his home now and takes the rain all in stride.

"I love it here," exclaims Ramos. "I like the area and I even like the weather. Yeah, it rains a little, but in the springtime, it is beautiful!"

And life is beautiful for Ramos and family right now. He is married to Ybe his wife of 12 years and is stepparent to two teenagers, Natalie, 18, and Gilbert, 15, both students at Curtis High School.

Patrick and Ybe Ramos welcomed baby Susanna back in August.  Ramos takes having a new baby in the house in stride, just like the weather.

"It's pretty rewarding," Ramos says of his infant daughter. "She's a bundle of joy, always smiling. It's like she waits to greet me and when she does, it's all smiles and coos.

He also has lots of pride and love for the rest of his family, too. Patrick and Ybe Ramos met in a Texas grocery store where they both worked. They wed in October of 2001. Ramos is in awe of his wife's strength, love, and perseverance over the years. She cares for the children, works on her studies (she is pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice) and manages through multiple moves and a couple of deployments. 

Ramos also beams when he talks about his stepchildren. Natalie has current aspirations to join the ROTC and eventually the Navy. She has been hitting the gym quite a bit recently to prepare. Natalie is a good student, a member of the school choir, and enjoys her friends.

Gilbert loves riding his scooter, playing video games, spending time with friends, and music. He too is a good student and is a school band member. He also loves to explore languages. He has taught himself Russian, German, and Japanese. He has talked about becoming a teacher.

Both children  enjoy computers and electronics and like going out for a walk with friends utilizing all the great places to stroll in the area.

Things didn't always come so easily for Ramos family though.

While in Texas, both children were exposed to bullies and gangs at school. It was a tough situation and the children's grades suffered.

With Ramos' enlistment in the Army in 2003. The family ended up moving to Germany where they remained until moving to Washington State in 2007. School in Germany also had its share of challenges and bullies, particularly for Gilbert. It was an especially tough time for him and it affected his school performance.

That's why when the opportunity came up to move to Washington State, the Ramos' really did their homework when it came to area schools.

University Place seemed to be the answer.

"We heard the schools were good here," emphasizes Ramos. "We do love the schools. There are no problems here like the other schools. Both kid's grades went up."

The family got the stability they needed to thrive. This stability was important, particularly when Ramos was deployed.

He spent a year in Iraq (2005-2006) serving in Satellite Communications. He recently returned in May of 2012 from Afghanistan after spending a year in Network Operations.

How did his family cope with his absence?

"During my deployments, the family kept busy, which makes the time go by faster," says Ramos.

The kids kept busy with their studies and extracurricular activities while Ybe worked on her Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice. She also began work on her Bachelor's Degree in the same area of study.

"It's tough being away," shares Ramos. "But it is not as tough for me. The Army takes care of me. My wife does a great job. She has to do it all."

When asked about receiving a medal for his service, Ramos stops short. "I got a medal, but my wife didn't get a medal. She has a huge responsibility. It's a very big job."

He admires how his family keeps it all together and how all of them are strong characters.

"It helps me do my job," he says.

And now baby Susanna adds her strength to the family, too.

Ramos likes their life in University Place and opted to re-enlist so that the older children can finish their schooling here.

"And I am even going to love the rain, too, to stay here, all for them," jokes Ramos.

Indeed. That and so much more.

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