(Johnny) Juan Lopez de la Cruz - ANNIE
Colonel Juan (Johnny) Lopez de la Cruz was commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1963 after participating as a paratrooper in the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion and subsequent imprisonment for almost two years as a POW in Cuba. Later, he transferred to the U.S. Army where he served for 26 years in various infantry, transportation and logistics positions.
His assignments included duties as Platoon Leader in Fort Benning, Georgia; Company Commander in Kaiserslautern, Germany and Pleiku, Vietnam; Battalion Executive Officer, Mekong Delta, Vietnam; Logistics Advisor to the Armed Forces of El Salvador and Battalion Commander in the Republic of Panama. In Panama he also served as Deputy Commander of the U.S. Army Security Assistance Agency for Latin America. He retired in 1989 after serving as Brigade Commander at the Army Base in Oakland, California.
Colonel Lopez graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in Business and attended various Senior Military Service Schools. His decorations include the Legion of Merit, three (3) Bronze Star Medals, three (3) Defense Service Medals, four (4) Meritorious Service Medals, The Air Medal, three (3) Joint Service Commendation Medals and three (3) Army Commendation Medals.
After retiring from the military service, Colonel Lopez de la Cruz and his wife Maria made their home in Miami, Florida, where he founded a company that marketed Security and Defense products in the United States and Latin America. The company was sold in 2001 and since then he has provided consulting services to small companies operating in Latin America.