Tony Virrueta was born and raised in Salinas, serving his nation as a U.S. Army Ranger; in his later career he has given back to the Central Coast community in a myriad of selfless public service leadership roles. Tony is a first generation son of an immigrant family.
Tony Virrueta brings a lifetime of experience of distinguished military and community service Having come from a long line of veterans, He felt called to serve his country with vigor and discipline enlisting in the Army and working his way up to a non-commissioned officer. His extensive training & worldwide operations paved the way for a successful career as a U.S Army Ranger & Special Forces instructor.
From multiple Light Infantry Divisions to the 75th Ranger Regiment, Tony brings new meaning to the disciplinary expertise of exemplary leadership.
After twelve years of Army service, including becoming a forward observer and serving in Korea, Japan, Philippines, Guam and other posts, Tony attended Hartnell College, with emphasis on U.S. history study. He worked for Paraiso Vineyards, becoming elevated to head sales manager. His success was noticed by Southern Wine & Spirits, who promoted him to key accounts specialist and then District Manager, covering Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito County.
Following his years of service & career success, Tony dedicated his time to his family & serving his community in Soledad. As a strong advocate of veteran’s programs &
supporting local heroes in Monterey County, Tony took initiative to organize the first Salinas Veteran’s Day Parade in 2010.
Thanks to his community-driven spirit, the Salinas Veteran’s Day parade now honors hundreds of local veterans and their
Over the last 12 years, this annual event has expanded & evolved. The success of this initiative serves as a testament of Tony’s strong leadership and community dedication. As the principal organizer, fundraiser & master of ceremonies, his
enthusiasm for honoring veterans is an ongoing testament to his dedication to community service.
Tony has served as a member of the Soledad American Legion Post 32 for 23 years; his veteran-oriented activities includes the Honor Our Fallen 5/10k run in Seaside each year. Much of his work is as tribute to his fallen nephew, killed in combat in
Afghanistan in 2014. He serves on the Soledad Recreation Department Advisory Board. Tony has been notably recognized for his work within the community. In 2016, he was honored as the local Military Hero in the American Red Cross parade.
Likewise, in 2018, he was recognized as the Veteran of the year by Monterey County Veterans Services Advisory Commission.
Tony volunteers with organizations such as South County Animal Rescue, Central Coast Red Cross, Veteran inmate mentor programs, and presides as Vice President
and board member of Heroes of Monterey County — supporting first responders, veterans and service members; he also serves as an American Legion Hall volunteer.
Tony’s passion for honoring veterans has rippled through the Central Coast; by spear-heading the annual Veteran’s Day Parade, Tony’s hard work in veterans’ affairs has tangible assistance to multitudes of veterans and their families.
As an advocate for building strong communities & families, Tony prioritizes time with his wife, Cynthia, their children and grandchildren.