It is fair to call Victor Montiel a patriot. Spending six and one-half years in the service of the United States, Montiel left his family and employment to serve his adopted country as a Marine.
Born in Mexico City, Montiel moved to the United States as a child. “I grew up with a strong understanding of the importance in loving my country, which to me, was the one I grew up in,” Montiel explained. “Since a young boy, I knew that I would be part of the service due to the nature of those thoughts.”
Enlisting in 1994, Montiel was stationed at Camp Pendleton in southern California. Ten days following his assignment, his first child was born. “I believed in the sacrifice I was making to leave my family because I knew that my family would be well cared for and I wanted to pursue the vision of patriotism. I knew that my country could offer my family and myself a new beginning and I could offer the military a new patriot for their mission of safety for this country.”
Sent to Iraq in 2003, Montiel sustained an injury. “I was injured by an IED blast to the torso and face,” he explains. “I was diagnosed with TBI and lost peripheral vision in my right eye.”
Despite his injury, the El Monte, California resident maintains his positive attitude. “I still maintain my love for sports and ways in staying active,” Montiel said. “I do this by playing basketball on the weekends and running.”
Participating in World T.E.A.M. Sports‘ February 2012 Soldiers to the Summit at Snowbird winter sports event, he has strong advice for other wounded warriors. “Stay strong through adversity, because it will make us stronger through personal motivation and motivation through the Core. To participate with fellow Core members who have gone through adversity and are able to persevere in Sports would be an honor.”
Portrait image photograph courtesy Victor Montiel.