A Disneyland tradition was fulfilled once again when Marine veteran Sgt Juan Valdez, wife Christen and service dog Midas flipped the lights, marking the official start of the holiday season.
Valdez grew up in the Dominican Republic and joined the Corps, serving four tours in the Middle East. He was shot in the arm and chest during OIF and was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with a “V” for valor.
He was medically retired in 2013 and lives in Southern California. “Today’s my wife’s first time at a Disney park. We got to ride it’s a small world holiday, and it was incredible,” Valdez said as reported by the OC Register.
The holiday lights at Disneyland will be lit until the week after the new year.