During National Hispanic Heritage Month, today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Luis Rios, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Army Veteran Luis Rios is from Puerto Rico. He enlisted in 2002 and was in the Reserve from 2007 until 2015. Rios was a member of the 101st Airborne while active duty and was a member of the 432nd Transportation Company with the Reserve. He also worked with the U.S. Department of State from 2008 until 2010 in Afghanistan.
Rios said he was motivated to join the Army after 9/11. He signed his contract with the Army in October 2001. Rios went on to basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Later, he deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Rios did two tours in Iraq and deployed for Operation Enduring Freedom to Afghanistan in 2008.
Rios also took part in helping Iraq elect their first officials after the fall of Saddam Hussein. He recounts coming face-to-face with death many times during his deployments, but the experience he gained from his service has helped him develop in to who he is today.
After the Army, Rios became an entrepreneur, working in multiple industries. Rios’s interviews and writings allow him to share what he has learned and what other successful people have to share. As a Veteran with post traumatic stress disorder, he said he understands the impact of connecting those who have suffered disabilities during combat to celebrities who have helped uplift disabled Veterans.
While speaking about his transition from the service to entrepreneurship, Rios says, “Entrepreneurship is very similar to battle. You need to have a clear purpose, plan and executions. Even though there are always going to be tough times on your journey, understanding your purpose and mission in life is crucial. Also, it is essential to have a positive mindset and be grateful in life.”
Recently, Rios contracted COVID-19 and had to be treated at a VA hospital in Puerto Rico. He spoke very highly of his care during a TV interview.
Thank you for your service!
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
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Fact checker: Ormina Naveed
Graphic artist: Grace Yang