Hiram Figueroa graduated from two Boot Camps – both Parris Island and MCRD San Diego, because he just “wanted to sign up for them.” His graduation from either Boot Camp was not easy. Eventually he became a Marine Corps Drill Instructor for 3.5 years. His stint as a DI hit a bump in the road when a disagreement with a 2nd Lieutenant got him kicked out of the Corps for “failure to obey a lawful order.” It’s a situation that has happened to many a service member, and not just in the USMC. His experiences along the path after a difficult transition have given Hiram a way to pay it forward to other veterans in need of help.
Story continues below:
Hiram – More bumps in the road
Hiram told us that his transition from the Corps was extremely difficult. He had no tools, no survival skills, and had to create his own coping methods. He began working for UPS with up to 18 hour workdays, and eventually was hired by the VA. What he experienced there was disillusioning.
Government employees often don’t have a sense of urgency. There’s a lot of nepotism and minion driven mentality. They’d rather control people than help them in many cases. It was a different world where people didn’t have to show results and tended to stop growing.Hiram Figueroa
He now works for the Army Corps of Engineers as a Management Program Analyst. The good news, is that in spite of Hiram’s difficulties, he found that his relationship with Special Operators and veterans of Vietnam, WWII, and Korea began to shape his views. The dark place that occupied his thoughts for 15 years began to lift. He is now a fierce advocate for veterans.
Management Program Analyst. Peer Support Specialist. Key Note Speaker. Veteran Coordinator. Entrepreneur. Creating Leadership within the Veteran Community . Never Above you Never Below you, Always Besides you!!!!!Hiram’s profile on LinkedIn
This man who was a 9th grade dropout with a 5th grade reading level is now a self-taught, articulate advocate for veterans, as well as an entrepreneur, and motivational speaker. He helps them with VA issues, how to obtain benefits, available resources, and educates them on their rights. He has been on LinkedIn for 17 years – and what once was only a business platform is now becoming more veteran friendly. He can tell by what is posted whether or not a person is actually productive at helping veterans.
He has a message for all who seek to assist veterans:
Are you producing content that is consistent with what you have posted on your profile? Are you actually talking about veteran’s issues? Are you honest in what you talk about?Hiram Figueroa
Hiram is focused on his advocacy in the midst of a country that has become self-absorbed. Having survived the long journey from the military to his current position, he is well equipped to help others. We wish you the best, Hiram!
Featured photo: Hiram Figueroa LinkedIn photo
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