Photo: Technical Sgt. Johnny Gómez
Technical Sgt. Johnny Gómez has served the nation he calls home since even before becoming a US Citizen!
Gómez was born and raised in Medellín, Colombia, a city well known as one of the most dangerous in the world, and the place that saw kingpin Pablo Escobar grow up to become the world’s most dangerous man and successful criminal. He died in 1993.
In 1982, when Gomez was 12, he and his family packed up and moved to Boca Raton, Florida; 5 years later Johnny was a Boca Raton High School graduate.
“After I graduated high school I really wanted to travel and see the world,” Gomez said. “My old soccer coach talked to me about the Air Force, so I went and talked to a recruiter and ended up enlisting.”
Three years into his military career, however, the only part of the world Gómez had seen with the Air Force, was a Base in Nebraska.
“I was up for re-enlistment and I told them I wanted to go overseas,” Gomez explained. “They said they couldn’t send me overseas because I didn’t have my citizenship.”
After realizing that not being an American citizen was keeping him from traveling the world while serving in the military, he decided to start the citizenship process, a process that became painless and was expedited because of his loyalty to the military.
Once a citizen, Gómez decided to serve his newfound motherland in its conflict with Afghanistan.
“For us in the reserve, deployments are basically voluntary. But my squadron was deploying in the winter, but after [my wife] Heather has [our second child] ,I didn’t want to leave her.”
Counting on all the love and support of his wife, Gomez got deployed with his current squadron during the spring and summer of 2011, in the midst of Heather’s pregnancy.
“This was important to Johnny and throughout our relationship he has always wanted to put his training to use,” said Heather, through e-mail. “The troops need someone like him, someone who always seems to know what to do and when to do it. There was never a question of him not deploying.”
“When you’re evacuating a [wounded] U.S. serviceman or women and you see them lying on a cot, it’s hard,” he continued. “It’s a huge sense of accomplishment, though, when you get them where they need to be and you know they’re going to get to see their loved ones back home again.”
Gómez is due back home to Maryland six days before becoming a dad. We Wish the Best to this Latin American Hero until then.