LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Former Army Specialist, Antonio Garza enlisted when he was 21 years old. The Shallowater resident wasn't just looking for another job, he joined to give back to the country that had given him so much.
"I came from Mexico, so when I came I felt like it was right for me to go into the military," Garza said.
Garza immigrated to the United States when he was just eight years old, and enlisting, he says, was the least he could do.
"I felt like America gave me the opportunity to be somebody. So I felt it was right to do something back, it's what my heart was telling me to do," Garza said.
In 2008, Garza was deployed to Kuwait with his transportation company. The company was in charge of transporting cargo and supplies throughout the dangerous terrain of Kuwait, Iraq and Turkey.
"We would travel back and forth from Kuwait, all the way to Turkey. So we'd be on the road about a month at a time," Garza said.
All of their missions were done during the dead of night, most times under enemy fire.
"We had nights where we would get hit pretty bad and we would keep driving and we would get shot, the tires would get shot, and we kept driving," Garza said.
He says, there were times during his year and a half tour that he wondered if he would make it back home.
"You know, there's a lot of possibilities that you're not coming back. But it can happen here, you can drive down the road and get in an accident," Garza said.
However, if you ask Garza if he's a hero, he'll say the only ones that deserve that title are the men in his company who didn't make it back- the ones who are always on his mind.
"I don't know, to be honest with you, I think the heroes are the ones that I've lost. Those are my heroes".
Garza was discharged in 2009 and says if given the chance, he'd do it all over again. He's now preparing to marry his fiance, Heidy in June, who considers him the epitome of an American hero.