Oct 12, 2022
The observance of National Hispanic Heritage month goes on every year from September 15th to October 15th to honor the lives of American citizens with Hispanic heritage. That goes the same for the VFW as we are just a melting pot, a reflection of the greater society of our great nation. Although we are all different strands, America is much stronger when we are braided together, and nothing does that more than military service. Through the camaraderie, we are unidos, or joined together.
Rob’s guests on today’s episode are two gentlemen who have very different Hispanic backgrounds, and different military service experiences, but are both Americans to the core. First, he speaks with VFW’s QuarterMaster General Mark Garduno. He talks about his military service and what it means to be the financial steward of one of the largest and most established veterans service organizations in the nation. Then, he speaks with Retired Army Master Sergeant Felix Figuroa. He reflects on his background, military service, and the invasion of Afghanistan on the anniversary of the war.
As Quartermaster General, Marc and his team are responsible for all VFW finances and the management of VFW facilities. [2:06]
After high school, Marc followed in his father’s footsteps joining the Army in the 82nd Airborne until retiring in 2008. [5:44]
Wanting to continue serving, Marc got a degree in nonprofit management and put his name in the ring to be assistant to the Quartermaster General. [17:24]
Marc describes the roles and responsibilities of the Quartermaster General. [21:47]
Marc describes the importance of the official brand and the use of the store. [26:11]
Marc embraces his Mexican heritage but considers himself an American first. [33:20]
Felix describes being proud of his Puerto Rican heritage growing up in Michigan and his decision to enlist in 1997. [44:47]
Remembering September 11, 2001, Felix describes serving his country on U.S. soil until his deployment to Afghanistan. [50:02]
Felix continues his story about the shock of serving in Operation Enduring Freedom as a Broadcast Journalist. [1:10:38]
Felix and his team left Afghanistan in February between Operation Tempo and Operation Anaconda. [1:29:39]
Felix offers a word to fellow Afghan War veterans. [1:36:30]
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