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The Garcia Family

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Lawton, OK

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U.S. Army Sgt. Tomas Garcia Jr. is one of four siblings and was raised in Hartford, Connecticut. During the early 1990s, his family moved from Connecticut to Hawaii, where his uncle was stationed in the Army. While Garcia was in high school, he joined the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) program and participated in their Special Operations unit. After graduation, Garcia married his high school sweetheart, Candace, and worked several jobs to make ends meet. In August 2001, once they had their daughter, he enlisted in the Army to better support his family.

Garcia completed his basic training and advanced individual training (AIT) before beginning his military career as a Multiple Launch Rocket System Crew Member at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. During his second deployment to Iraq in March 2006, he was severely injured on a convoy transport when three improvised explosive devices (IED) were detonated in an ambush. In this attack, Garcia was hit in the forehead with a bullet that fractured his skull and injured his best friend - a fellow soldier.

Garcia was honorably discharged from the military in 2007 after continued suffering from a left knee sprain, right knee osteoarthritis, lumbar spine sprain and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He has received many accolades for his bravery in service including a Purple Heart, Army Accommodation with Valor, Combat Action Badge, National Defense Service Medal and Iraq Campaign Medal.

Garcia currently works as a TADSS (Training, Aids, Devices, Simulators and Simulations) Instructor for the Department of the Army. In addition to finding a fulfilling career with the Army, he is also very involved in the veteran community. Garcia is currently a member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, where he has served in many chapter positions. He is also an associate for The Foundation for Exceptional Warriors. In 2013, Garcia was awarded the Patriot of the Year Award from both his local MOPH chapter as well as State of Oklahoma Department MOPH. His wife, Candace, works for the State of Oklahoma as a case manager at the employment office and one day hopes to write an anthology of stories from spouses of soldiers suffering from PTSD.

Operation FINALLY HOME, local builder Hawkins Custom Homes and primary sponsor City National Bank are honored to come together to provide this home to U.S. Army Sgt. Tomas Garcia Jr. and his family in Lawton, Oklahoma.


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