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U.S. Army Sgt. David Roca grew up in Queens, New York. Raised by a single mother with limited resources, Roca quickly learned that hard work and commitment to family values are the most important qualities a person can have. With dreams of serving his community and country as a police officer or firefighter, Roca enrolled at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. However, after witnessing the devastation of September 11th, he knew joining the military was the right choice. Roca enlisted in August 2004 as a 13F Forward Observer and attended basic training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Roca’s unit deployed to Iraq soon after he joined the military. During his deployment, he sustained several traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in combat, one of which occurred when an improvised explosive devise (IED) hit his vehicle. Despite his injuries, he always fought through to continue the mission. After returning home, Roca’s injuries prevented him from performing in physical training and he experienced mood swings and severe headaches. After thorough evaluation, Roca medically retired in December 2008. Due to his service in combat, Roca suffers from several TBIs, migraines, sprained ankles and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Roca was known for his strong work ethic and devotion to duty, exemplified by his Valor Device, an award he received for saving his Commander’s life in battle. He has also received a number of other accolades during his time in service, including an Army Commendation Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal and more.
After retiring, Roca moved his family to Long Island, where he hoped he could recover and continue his bachelor’s degree at Nassau Community College. However, he struggled with concentration and memory due to his injuries and decided to focus on his mental and physical health before continuing school. Roca and his three children have moved to Florida so he can be close to his family and have a better support system. Once he is fully recovered, his goal is to return to the workforce. Roca wants his children to know that no matter what they face in life, they can always strive for the best.
Operation FINALLY HOME along with Lennar Homes are honored to come together to provide U.S. Army Sgt. David Roca and his family with a home to call their own in Connerton located in Land O’Lakes, Florida in 2017!