TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
When Sgt. Alan Garcia left active duty in 2016, after serving four years as an aviation supply specialist, he wanted to maintain close ties with the Marine Corps.
“I wanted to keep that feeling of camaraderie that you get from the Marine Corps,” said Garcia. “I also wanted to stay around Marines.”
Garcia joined the Marine Corps Reserve and now brings the experience he gained on active duty to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 775, Marine Aircraft Group 41, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing. This June, the Santa Ana, California, based Marine is conducting annual training with his squadron at Integrated Training Exercise 4-18, at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California.
In addition to his duties as a Marine, Garcia is a student at Santa Ana College in Santa Ana, California, and an employee at the Coastline Community College Veterans Resource Center, where he previously attended college in Newport Beach.
“When I got out, the Veterans Resource Center on campus really helped me a lot,” said Garcia. “I wanted to help others in the same way, so I applied to work there.”
Since 2018, Garcia has worked at the Veterans Resource Center to help veteran students and their families recover from homelessness, find food, obtain furniture, figure out their Montgomery GI Bill benefits, and much more. The center also hosts community events for veteran students, such as barbeques, to continue to build a feeling of camaraderie among prior service members.
Once he finishes earning his degree, Garcia plans on continuing to work for the military or with veterans in some capacity.
“The Marine Corps made me prepared for life and gave me guidance,” said Garcia.