Reflecting Sacrificed Time in the Marinescsudhbulletin November 11, 2020 0 COMMENTS
William Hernandez in the United States Marine Corps. Photo Courtesy by William Hernandez.
By Cindy Canas, Staff Writer
“Veterans Day reminds me that Freedom is not free and most veterans had to sacrifice many things prior to or while serving in the military.”- William Hernandez
William Hernandez retired from the Marines in December of 2015. When he was in the Marines, he was the Gunnery Sergeant, a marine corps ranked above a staff sergeant and below a master sergeant or first sergeant.
Veterans Day is an important day for him, but also a day of reflection as it, “reminds me that Freedom is not free and most veterans had to sacrifice many things prior to or while serving in the military,” Hernandez said.
Reflecting on his time in the Marines, Veterans Day allows him to dive deeper into his thoughts and reflect on the reasons that made him decide to enroll in the Marines to serve the country. In the Marines, he sacrificed many things and time when serving, now that he is retired and has the time to reflect on growing, reviewing and learning from his experiences servicing especially on Veterans Day.
“[Serving in the Marine Corps] taught me discipline, self-respect, perseverance, teamwork, how to accomplish anything no matter how difficult it may be,” Hernandez said. “It also taught me about America, brotherhood, and that no matter what your background we are all Americans.”
When times got tough and challenging Hernandez learned for himself that, “no matter how many times I fall, I always get back up, and then I smile.” As he served in the Marines, he learned valuable lessons by himself and with the help of others.
Although he has experienced multiple difficult situations and experienced life-changing events, he doesn’t talk about his military service and experiences with his family and family. As somethings are too difficult to communicate to talk about with those he loves.
Some services that help veterans such as Hernandez transition from military to civilian life were the Transition Readiness Seminar. Transition Readiness Seminar is a week-long program that consists of Veteran Affairs (VA) benefits and services and employment preparation, education, and vocational training.
“I attended the Transition Readiness Seminar twice 18 and 8 months prior to retiring,” Hernandez said, as a way to come back to an ordinary mindset and everyday routine with family and friends.
At CSUDH the Veterans Resource Center (VRC) also assists and helps navigate veterans to have a successful college experience. Hernandez is also a former CSUDH toro, he attended the university from 1993 through 1995 to gain and achieve higher education.
Military life is different from civilian life as there are a number of challenges placed on an individual’s mental and physical capabilities serving the country. A few words for civilians to consider and understand about military services from Hernandez is, “Just because it’s sunny outside it doesn’t mean it isn’t raining.”
Hernandez has spent the majority of his life serving the country and learning through challenging life lessons. Veterans Day will continue to be an important reminder of his service in the Marines and the sacrifices that he made to get where he is now.
To learn and explore more stories about Veterans day check out The Bulletin’s story on A Veteran Who Still Serves.