#VeteranOfTheDay Marine Corps Veteran Tony Garcia



Marine Corps Veteran Tony Garcia is today's Veteran of the day.

During Social Work Month, today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran Tony Garcia, who served two tours to Iraq before becoming a VA social worker.

In the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, Tony Garcia decided to enlist in the Marine Corps. He said he wanted to be a part of something bigger than himself. He joined the service in April 2002 at age 18 and served in two combat tours to Iraq while in the Marine Corps. During his second tour, Garcia was a corporal and acted as squad and team leader. He also received recognition for his abilities as a machine gunner.

After four years in the Marine Corps, Garcia left active duty in April 2006. He attended Rio Hondo College and received his associate of arts degree. He then attended the University of California, Berkeley, earning a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 2012. While at UC Berkeley, Garcia worked as a Veteran research intern from January to May 2012. He also served as a peer advocate from September to December 2012. He was uncertain about what he would do after finishing his degree but knew that he wanted to help others.

Garcia continued his education at the University of Southern California to receive his master of social work in 2015, specializing in mental health and the military.

His work with the VA began with an internship in 2014 as a social work intern before he became a full-time social worker in July 2015. He has worked at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Healthcare Center System (VACHS) and currently works at the Long Beach VAHCS for the collaborative program between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and VA Supported Housing. Garcia helps Veterans who have experienced homelessness by assisting them with obtaining a housing choice voucher and maintaining their housing, while providing resources to connect Veterans to assist them with housing stability.

Garcia said he believes social workers are crucial because they connect Veterans to important resources and provide a personal connection.

“Social workers are a large part of the effort to make Veterans comfortable at our facilities, and they continue to choose the VA for that reason,” said Garcia.

Thank you for your service!


Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

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.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.


Contributors

Writer: Katherine Berman

Editor: Cassidy Reid and Katie Wang

Fact checker: Monique Quihuis

Graphic artist: Erin Gallagher

Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

Comments

  1. Jones    

    Thank you Tone Loc.

  2. john R. Trojan    

    Wish the VA clinic work for us like I have seen in other stores. I have had knee issues since late October, 3-24 I finally an seeing a orthopedic doctor.

  3. Albertoes    

    Thank you for your service Tony! Great and compassionate Social Worker!

    1. Tony Garcia    

      Thank you Albert! You are also a star bro. Keep up the great work!

  4. Patrick Swierczek, LCSW    

    I had the honor of working with Mr. Garcia at GLA for a number of years. He always held strong to the values and ethics of being a social worker and consistently championed the needs of his Veterans. Tony was a hero on the battlefields
    of Iraq and here at home in the effort to end Veteran homelessness. Thanks for all you do Tony Garcia!!!!

    1. Tony Garcia    

      Thank you Patrick. I have learned a lot from you, and thank you for being my mentor when I was a young Social Worker at the VA.

  5. Senior Veterans Care Network    

    Thank you for your service Tony Garcia.

Comments are closed.