Jose Gonzalez is a retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant who, after retiring from the Corps struggled with the transition process. Soon after retirement Jose gained employment at the work study program in the Loma Linda VA medical center. During his time at Loma Linda VAMC he taught veterans how to access and utilize the MyHealthevet system to better manage their healthcare needs. While a very rewarding experience, this entry level position was not meeting Jose’s famlies needs. Jose accepted a position in Washington DC; he had to leave his family behind in California.
Dealing with his service-connected issues was challenging. Additionally, the burden of having to leave his family behind intensified those challenges as he was alone in the nation’s capital. Jose needed the camaraderie he had experienced in the military.
Fortunately, Jose connected with a Heroes Athletic Association supported sports club at Links to Freedom. Jose’s participation in adult recreational sports provided that much needed support system to help get re-established and move his wife and two children to the area.
“Transitioning, even as a senior Marine, was not an easy task. It takes a toll on the Service Member and his or her family. I needed a support group or a “new team¨ to support me during this time. Organizations that Heroes Athletic Association supports provided that “new team”. I transitioned more successfully, both emotionally and in terms of a new career because of HAA´s mission. I am proud to be a part of the HAA team on staff.”