Jesse Garcia’s father, CSM Garcia, served multiple deployments to Afghanistan with both the Army and the Army National Guard. Today, he suffers from PTSD and a myriad of other health issues as a result of his service and was rated 100% permanently disabled by the VA. He is a purple heart recipient.
CSM Garcia gave 28 years of service to his country before his honorable discharge, following in the footsteps of his own father, a general in the National Guard. Jesse says, about his father’s sacrifice:
“Even though I wish I could have had him home back then, I now realize he helped more people than I can imagine. My dad is the bravest person I know to leave a family for nine months to serve our country from across the world so willingly. This adds on to the endless list on why my dad is my hero.”
Jesse honored his father throughout high school, achieving excellent grades and a position in the National Honor Society. He gave of his free time to participate in the Best Buddies Program and the Special Olympics, working with Special Needs children. Jesse’s family, including his two siblings, Alei and Brei, live in Albuquerque, NM.
With the assistance of the Freedom Alliance Scholarship fund, Jesse enrolled at the University of New Mexico (UNM). He spent his sophomore year at Oklahoma State University (OSU) as part of a UNM transfer program. He also took the opportunity to study for a semester in Costa Rica, enriching his Spanish language and cultural education. “Spanish is a passion of mine and cross-cultural communication,” he said.
Jesse worked hard and achieved excellence in his studies. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with Honors and received a degree in Business Administration with a minor in Spanish from UNM. He told Freedom Alliance, “I want to thank you and the organization so much. The support you have shown me the last four years was much needed and I am so grateful for it.”