Jerry Zayas

In 2004, Jerry Zayas, middle, accompanied Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, second from left, on a visit to the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador to honor Salvadoran troops who served alongside U.S. forces in the Middle East.

Retired U.S. Army Colonel Jerry Zayas, Blue Rapids, traveled extensively during his military service and on several occasions saw firsthand how much the ideal of American freedom meant to people who live in less-fortunate nations.