Army Veteran. Former Corrections Officer. Air Traffic Controller. Team Roper.
W.A.R. would like to introduce you to a long-standing member and volunteer, Andreas (Dre) Sanchez. Below, you will find a very thoughtful biography written by Andreas himself. We appreciate the history he shared of his family. We are all very proud of those who served before us and it is important to never forget the sacrifices made by those who have kept freedom ringing throughout our nation.
I would like to mention some of the people who shaped what direction I would go in life. My Grandfather on my Dad’s side, Cecilio Sanchez, was an Army Paratrooper and was a Korean War Veteran. He was MIA for more than 45 days behind enemy lines. He was a Silver Star recipient. One of the most important memories I have of him was when I had applied to New Mexico Military Institute to attend school. During my interview process and testing, they had found out I was the grandson of a Silver Star soldier. They had explained I did not need to pass the entrance exam and just bring in my grandfather’s documentation and I would be accepted to the school. I had a conversation with my grandfather and explained what had been offered to me. His response was something I have not forgotten to this day. He told me. “Eijo, If this is what you want to do, and this is your path then go earn it on your own.” It took the 14 year old me some time to understand the lesson he had just taught. But I did take the entrance exams and interviews and got accepted as a cadet on my own.
Now my Grandfather on my mom’s side was Angelo H. Sakelares was an Army Cavalry soldier. He was a WWII veteran and a Bataan Death March Survivor. He was awarded the Bronze Star. I was much closer with this Grandfather he would tell me stories of his experiences even take me to visit other Death March survivors and hear their stories. He and I would go to flea markets on weekends and collect WWII insignias. We had hundreds in a coffee can, but he always knew which ones we didn’t have for the collection. Once we had over 300 of them, he and I built a display for the collection we had gathered through the years. All the while teaching me about the Military and what it was to serve. Both the good and the bad. When I was about to graduate high school I wasn’t sure of the branch of the military I wanted to pursue. I had been in MCJROTC in my hometown of Grants NM. But both my military influences had been in the Army. One day about a month till graduation I was having breakfast and a recruiter walked into the restaurant. He sat next to me so, of course, I drummed up a conversation with him. He was Army I could tell by the uniform. I had mentioned that I hadn’t looked at what my scores would allow me to do if I joined. He offered to show me a list if I wanted to come by his office. So needless to say I went. And at this point, my maternal grandfather had passed. As I looked at the unit insignia I would be wearing if I accepted one of the positions available to me it is the exact same insignia my grandfather wore in WWII. Now it was not a full-time soldier it was a National Guard unit. But it was a sign, an opportunity for me to wear the same insignia as my Grandfather!!
I know that was a long backstory to hear about my bio but I feel like it explains who and what I have chosen to do in life. I served 6 years in Air Defense Artillery (14S/16S) Stinger Missile system crew member. I also cross-trained as an 88M. I appreciated the time I served. I was activated during the Cierro Grande fires in New Mexico. I was also on stand-by in Ft. RILEY Kansas when Desert Storm was beginning.
After my enlistment, I was a correctional officer for the State of New Mexico. My civil service continues today. I am in my 14th year as an Air Traffic Controller. I started my career in ATC at Albuquerque (ABQ) International Airport and now work at the 3rd busiest Airport in the Country. Dallas – Ft. Worth (DFW) International Airport. I have been in Air Traffic for 14 years. This is the coolest job ever!! And yes it is stressful. Whenever I am not keeping planes apart my obsessive hobby is TEAM ROPING! I spend as much time as I can on horseback. That is how I found out about Warriors and Rodeo. I have had the good fortune to qualify for the World Series of Team Roping and compete in Las Vegas at the finale about 10 times. I have won multiple checks but in 2019 I had a top 10 finish which had a nice paycheck attached. Then in March of 2021, I won the #9 at the Bob Feist Invitational. I have loved the sport and plan on doing it for a long long time. Thanks for the support along the way and the camaraderie that W.A.R. has done for me! I truly appreciate it!!
Andreas states that his wife is his backbone and supports him in everything he does. They have been married 19 years and look forward to many more.
Andreas Sanchez is a long time volunteer of W.A.R. His expertise and hard work has been utilized at events, clinics, meetings, representing W.A.R. with corporate companies, and more. Thank you, Andreas, for your hard work and dedication to those who serve.
Warriors and Rodeo appreciates those companies who join us in our commitment to Andreas Sanchez as he competes around the country in numerous events and multiple series.