Juan Mendez, United States Marine Corp, E-6 Staff Sergeant, LCVFSF Veteran Peer.
Juan did community outreach work in Milwaukee that included the Marines’ “Toys for Tots” and worked with Marine Reservists on employment and other issues. Juan was deployed three times to Iraq, as well as other assignments in the Philippines and ports in Singapore, Japan and Thailand. Juan will complete a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at North Park College in December.
Earlier this year, Paul Baffico, my boss and LCVFSF founder, suggested that I write an answer to the question: “What does it means to be a Veteran?”. I told him that I wasn’t ready; in other words, allow me my space because I don’t want to pick the scab on those wounds right now. Well, that’s what I wanted him to believe. In fact, I had no idea how to answer that question, and that terrified me.