Nicholas Martinez served four years and seven months to give back and use the Post-9/11 GI Bill to further his education.
Martinez served at a search and rescue unit in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, for a year and a half after basic training. As a Florida native, he found it was difficult to adjust to the climate in order to perform these search and ice rescues. However, Martinez overcame this challenge. He learned to love his time there and grew attached to the community.
He spent his time off shoveling snow for those who had difficulty doing so themselves. Martinez participated in honor flight ceremonies and performed volunteer work for funeral duty. He also volunteered as a member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, where he mentored his seven-year-old little brother, Jordan.
Martinez received sailor of the quarter for his efforts and received a Challenge Coin from the head of the sheriff’s department in Waupaca county, Wisconsin.
After his time in Two Rivers, Martinez went to Petaluma, California, for corpsman training. He then went to Miami, Florida. In Miami, Martinez received a letter of accommodation for his abilities as a corpsman and being a good shipmate.
Following his departure from the Coast Guard, Martinez completed prerequisite courses for the Transition Nursing Program at Polk State College. Currently, he works at Lakeland Regional Hospital as a personal care assistant, including units dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak. Speaking of his experience, Martinez said he finds his work challenging, but is proud of his work and hopes it inspires others to serve their country.
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Fact checker: Garrett Graham