He didn’t have to, but he did it. As a child, he was brought into the safety of the United States. He had work. He had a loving family. Stability. Safety. But instead of taking it all and move through life being unnoticed, he decided to join the military to serve and to give back, putting everything at risk. This is the story of Jose Gonzalez Morales (and of so many others).
Jose’s home wasn’t immune to what’s being considered one of the strongest recent El Niño seasons. And, due to a damaged roof, everything he had worked for was at risk. That risk ended, when HomeStrong USA, with the support of State Farm and Home Depot, demolished the old leaking roof and installed a brand new energy efficient roof in the home of the 8-year, 2-tour Army National Guard soldier. In addition, HomeStrong USA fixed major water leaks inside the home.
Ever since he came to this country with his father at the age of 9 from Mexico, Jose wanted to serve in the military. Most importantly, he wanted to teach his children that you are never too old to follow your passion, and to serve. So, in 2008, at the age of 37, Jose Gonzalez Morales joined the Army National Guard. Since joining the military, he has been deployed twice to Afghanistan and is now a Sergeant serving as a Combat Engineer and Team Leader.
“It’s been a great honor serving this country that has given my family and I so many opportunities. Even though I was not born here, I grew up loving this great country. So I thought that one day I would be able to repay it somehow and there has been no better way than becoming a soldier,” said Morales. “These repairs are going to make a world of difference for me and my family. We haven’t had the money to address these major repairs. I can’t thank HomeStrong USA, State Farm and Home Depot enough for their help.”
Congresswoman Norma Torres, Senator Connie Leyva’s office, City of Chino officials and the American Legion were all present to celebrate Sergeant Gonzalez’s commitment to our country and to be a part of a life changing event for his family.
“We are truly blessed to be in a position to give back to our veterans,” said Greg O’Donnell, Program Director for HomeStrong USA. “Every one of our veterans deserves a safe and healthy living environment for themselves and their families. It’s the least that we can do.”