AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — For U.S. Air Force Reservist Master Sergeant Hector Flores, enlisting in the military was an easy decision.
“You know, it’s pretty easy, it’s pretty seamless,” said Flores.
He attributes part of his decision to the ROTC program at Palo Duro High School.
“I really liked the environment. I liked a lot of the stuff that we learned, and I figured if that was pretty easy how much harder is it doing it in real life when I graduated,” said Flores. “Then I liked all the travel opportunities as well. So I guess you can say for the past 20 years, I was able to travel a lot.”
Flores said this decision was bigger than himself. So how did this impact his family?
“I didn’t even plan on having a family, but life happens, and I ended up with two beautiful boys and a wife and, and so even being in the military, they grew accustomed to just us constantly moving and a lot of networking and basically doing the same thing that I did,” said Flores.
At the time of our interview, Flores was deployed to Kuwait
“It’s safe to say that Kuwait has made me very humbled about Texas heat,” said Flores.
When he is back in Amarillo, he works to plug veterans into opportunities and resources… Though Brothers-Sisters Of Our Military (BOOM) Adventures. It is a non-profit organization that serves those who serve the American people, striving to not only provide the best experience for service members but to also help them in their everyday struggle with the persistent mental and physical hardships they face.
“We kind of help assist in plugging them into … resources. So as an organization, we help out with that, ultimately, but really, when they come out, we kind of treat them to some hunting trips, some fishing trips, and kind of create this bond and family that they’ve kind of not so much forgotten, but have inherently just missed. So once we group them all back in, and is any veteran or first responder that can be involved with this, but we start to create this big tight unit of a family,” said Flores.
“We kind of understand each other in the sense that a normal, it’s a civilian person, most likely wouldn’t. So since we all get each other, we all come from different sort of dynamics, when it comes to jobs, we can each provide something for that veteran themselves,” Flores said. “We’ve created scholarships that we can help assist with Gold Star families that they can benefit from because they need to be taken care of too. It’s not just the veterans themselves or the first responder themselves, but it’s also the families included.”
Flores said his experiences have opened him up to new perceptions of the world, and offer this advice to those looking to enlist.
“Keep an open mind, be very flexible, and always be ready to change on the go and do something different completely every single day, and then just run with it. Don’t take life so seriously, just enjoy what it does actually overcome the obstacles and continue growing and evolving, and it’ll make sure that you do the same,” said Flores.