Hidden History: Hispanic Veteran Overcomes Adversity

Hispanic Heritage Month

Paul Martinez has overcome a lot in his 45 years.

“I’ve lived a long life in a short while.”

He joined the Navy in 1993 and would eventually become an operations specialist.

“It was a cool job…radar tech kind of guy who tracks ships, planes, sometimes subsurface and deals with warfare…”

Aboard the U.S.S. Roanoke, and then the U.S.S. Nimmets, his experience would lead him to become an air intercept controller. After eight years, Paul would leave the Navy and apply for a dispatcher position with the Bell Police Department in California.

“…and they really liked my military bearing, and they asked me to become a police officer.”

Paul suffered a back injury in 2007, leading to his retirement in 2011, but with the pain increasing and now out of a job, things escalated.

“It got to a point where I got a little bit depressed and PTSD from being a police officer, seeing the things that I saw out there kind of put me in a bad place.”

To take his mind off things, he moved to Wisconsin and decided to go back to school.

“I enrolled into the architectural technologies program at NWTC, and sure enough, I just graduated this May.”

He started his own company and is now co-owner of Partners by Design with his wife.

“But I am officially licensed to design houses and do all sorts of small projects.”

Overcoming all obstacles and staying positive. We could all learn a lot from Paul.

“I believe that God only gives you what you can handle. Go for it. We only have one life to live.”

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