These advocates work tirelessly to help veterans succeed in the civilian workplace. Get to know who they are, what they do, and how they advocate for the veteran community.
Luis Martinez recently is the Veteran Resource and Referral Specialist for the Texas Veteran Leadership Program. He was a Staff Sergeant (E-5) in the Air Force, 1996-2012.
“This award means a lot to me. When US service members leave the military life, becoming a veteran poses some unique challenges. Statistically, veterans have the odds in their favor, but they are also stacked against them. Some of the veterans will find a new career directly after finishing the military and others will have problems finding a job. While in the military and serving the nation, veterans felt they had a purpose, a mission. They developed such a sense of belonging that they consider the team as a family, and helping my brothers and sisters ease the transition from military to civilian life and help them reach their full potential in school, work or anything they or their family may need is something I take personal and have pride in. From all era veterans to transitioning service members and spouses, knowing that I helped them be successful is extremely rewarding. To me, this isn’t a job, this is taking care of my family.”
Champion’s Job Responsibilities:
Luis helps with family services/counseling, disability claims/benefits, educational & training benefits, OIF/OEF special programs & services, emergency financial assistance, homelessness, substance abuse, and he advocates for all veterans. He has become a literal one stop shop for veterans in San Angelo!
Why Martinez was nominated for the Veteran Champions of the Year in Corporate America Award:
He has a selfless attitude. He treats all veterans and their families as if they were family. He has helped many veterans in the community with emergency financial assistance and helps get veterans employed. He also speaks to businesses and organizations on the benefits of hiring veterans and gives them resources in order to help retain veteran employees, such as educating businesses on PTSD and signs to look for. He helps with multiple hiring fairs and has daily emails with numerous employment opportunities specifically for veterans. He single handedly created a veteran resource list to help any and all organizations with their veterans. He brought a community college from not being rated, to #2 in the nation in 2020 for veterans and their families. His work ethic is unmatched and he is truly a benefit to the veterans in our community! His care doesn’t stop after he helps; he always follows up to ensure the veterans are not forgotten. He has helped many veterans when they felt suicide was their only way. His personal care and getting these veterans the help they need has been vital to trying to end veteran suicides in the community. He is the commander of the All Veterans Council of Tom Green County, the Commander of DAV Chapter 237, and Service Officer for VFW Post 1815 and American Legion Post 572. He leads the way when a military honor guard is not able to perform ceremonies, he stepped in with the creation of an honor guard comprised of veterans, making sure that even in death, no veteran is left behind. He sits on the West Texas VA board, ensuring that the voices of veterans in west Texas are heard.