Frank's Story (continued)
Frank’s life has always revolved around his family, his community, and the United States Marine Corp. Frank served in the Marine Corp. for a total of 13 years, spending three years in Chicago, 1 year in Okinawa, Japan, one year in miscellaneous locations, serving during Operation Desert Storm in Kuwait and Iraq, and a majority of his service time in Camp Pendleton in San Diego. During this time, Frank, like many of our veterans, could not make it to every family gathering, sporting event, award ceremony, school dances or graduations. After an administrative and honorable discharge in 1997, Frank finally returned home and remained focused on serving this country and his community, all while continuing his education and providing for his family. Unfortunately for Frank, like many of our veterans, he did not receive the amount of support he deserved when he returned. Struggling to find stable income with a single employer, Frank humbly worked multiple jobs to barely make ends meet. After years of declined federal financial support, Frank almost lost everything. With support from his family, Frank pulled through and overcame major obstacles in his life.
Today, Frank works as a Senior Network Administrator for one of the top medical agencies in California, spending his free time with his family and volunteering at local service groups. Frank has been happily married for 32 years now with four children and four grandchildren. When Frank isn’t working as a network engineer, he spends a lot of his free time volunteering. One of Frank’s favorite volunteer activities is Camp TLC, a unique summer camp experience designed for children ages 6-17 with a primary diagnosis of Autism.
When asked, Frank explained his definition of a veteran: “A veteran is someone who does anything, and gives everything, and asks for nothing, nor expects anything in return. A veteran is someone who would give their life for something, someone, and doesn’t expect anything in return. A veteran serves for our freedom, and returns humbly, without boasting.” Many times a veteran returns home with no support. Veterans sacrifice so much, and most have no clue everything they did. Veteran’s Day isn’t about trying to understand what veterans have gone through, but to honor their service by sacrificing this day to serve in our communities. We support what the military does for us, and we believe in the same cause they do. Rather than blindly celebrating Veteran’s Day, let’s spend the day keeping others in mind. I hope Frank’s story has shed some light on this holiday and on what it means to be a veteran. I want to thank Mr. Vega, and thank the rest of our veterans, for your service to our great country. Semper Fi.