LEAD Salutes Our Veterans and Active Military
In honor of Veterans Day, LEAD celebrates the brave LEAD alumni and staff who have served and currently serve our country in the United States military.
PFC Dalila Martinez graduated from LEAD Academy in 2019. After graduation, she enlisted in the United States Army. She currently serves as 92A Automated Logistical Specialist, stationed in Fort Bliss, TX, and has already been promoted twice. Martinez and her husband are expecting a baby girl soon.
“The military has definitely had a huge impact in my life. I will forever be grateful,” PFC Martinez said.
LEAD Academy Class of 2018 graduate Charles Hamrick enlisted in the United States Army earlier this year and recently graduated from basic training. He trained as a tank operator on the M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank and is currently stationed in Germany.
“I hope that, perhaps, my journey can inspire others from LEAD to consider the option of enlistment,” Hamrick said.
LEAD Academy Class of 2016 graduate SGT Abdirahman Ahmed is currently serving in the United States Army as an avionic technician working on UH-60 A/L/M Blackhawk and also CH-47F Chinook helicopters. He has already completed one deployment in Kosovo and plans to deploy to Iraq next year. He recently became a new dad.
Family and Community Engagement Coordinator at LEAD Neely’s Bend, Blanca Cross served from 2001-2005 in the United States Navy as a Torpedoman’s Mate. Growing up in a small town with a large Air Force base, she always knew joining the military would be part of her future.
“I joined the Navy my junior year of high school as part of the Delayed Entry Program which reserved my job a year before I graduated. We spent our summers after middle school playing Capture the Flag and our school year completing service hours for JROTC. I enlisted with seven of my closest friends, all to different branches, and we never looked back,” Cross said.
Cross said the military gave her the opportunity to see the world through a different lens. She said the lessons she learned in her time in the service helped her to navigate her future.
“Helping to protect and serve our country at such a young age would provide me the experience and discipline needed to withstand any obstacle I’ve encountered throughout my life and the family to love me through it,” Cross said.
LEAD thanks all veterans for their service and sacrifice.