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U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Nathan Rodriguez, of Leander, Texas, recalls the day he enlisted as a day that changed his life forever. Before joining the Marines, Nathan had few plans for his future—except that he didn’t see much of one for himself in his Ohio hometown.
In the Marines, Nathan found the support system he had longed for and began to develop a sense of direction and purpose. After completing boot camp and Military Combat Training, Nathan moved to California to attend military occupation specialty training. While there, he met and married his wife, Kristin.
During his eight years as a Marine, Nathan was deployed twice—to Afghanistan and the Mediterranean and Middle East as part of a Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the USS Bataan. While providing security during a refueling transport at a base checkpoint in Afghanistan, Nathan and another Marine were notified that an unmarked vehicle driving at a high rate of speed was approaching the checkpoint. After numerous attempts to stop the driver, Nathan and his fellow Marine took action to prevent the vehicle from breaching the checkpoint, resulting in fatalities and injuries. Nathan suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) during the incident.
As a result of his service, Nathan has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, tinnitus, and back pain, in addition to a TBI sustained in Afghanistan. He also suffers from debilitating migraine headaches. Nathan was honorably discharged in 2016.
In recognition of his valiant service to his country, Nathan has been honored with many awards and commendations – Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, NATO Medal (International Security Assistance Force), Afghanistan Campaign Medal and two Marine Good Conduct Medals, among others.
Nathan and Kristin are proud parents of two boys and two girls. They enjoy spending time with friends and family, game nights, bike rides, yoga, and barbecues.
Operation FINALLY HOME is proud to partner with Ashton Woods and MA Partners with providing Staff Sargent Nathan Rodriguez and his family a mortgage-free home in Melissa, Texas.