“I believe in my heart that Gary and all of the staff work to provide so much more than building houses, they are building lifelong relationships, awareness empowering younger warriors with a voice to be heard...to never let any defenders of our nation be mistreated or be forgotten.”
— Juan Dominguez
Juan joined the Marine Corps as part of a family military tradition carried on by his father, uncles and grandfather. He began boot camp in September 2007 at MCRD in San Diego and after graduating meritoriously as a Private First Class, headed to the School of Infantry West. Upon completion of his military occupational specialty, Juan joined the Unit 3rd Battalion 5th Marines and set off on The 31st MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) in January 2009. Soon after, he was headed to Afghanistan.
On the morning of October 23rd, 2010 in Helmand Province Sangin Afghanistan, as point man for a team of twenty-five, Juan stepped on a pressure-plated plastic jug IED (Improvised Explosive Device). The ensuing blast sent him fifteen feet in the air. He lost both legs above the knee and later, his right arm above the elbow. He has since been diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress. Since that day, he has endured more than twenty-five surgeries.
Juan has been awarded the Purple Heart Medal, Navy Unit Citation, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with star, Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, NATO ISAF Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with star.