Sgt Hubert gonzales
Spring Branch, TX
A native of the Philippines, Hubert Gonzales saw a goodness in the United States and the American people that drove him to serve in the military. He joined the Marines shortly after graduating high school and loved the brotherhood.
He met his wife Fiona after his first deployment to Iraq in 2006. By the time he deployed again, this time to Afghanistan in 2011, their first born daughter, Rosebella, was only ten days old.
On March 31, 2011, Sergeant Gonzales, an Infantry squad leader, was conducting operations with the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, in Sangin, Afghanistan, when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED). The blast resulted in severe damage to Sgt Gonzales’ left leg. After years of dealing with intense pain and surgeries, Hubert opted to have the leg amputated for a better quality of life.
Now medically retired, Hubert is studying physical therapy rehabilitative science at the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio. He is planning to work at Brooke Army Medical Center as a physical therapist to help other injured Veterans in their recovery. “I would like to give back to our wounded Heroes that are coming back injured from overseas. With my experience as a limb salvage for three years and now an amputee, I would be able to provide more than just care to them,” he says.
When he’s not studying, Hubert enjoys spending time outside with Fiona and their two children. He also volunteers at a senior living community near his school and a program that assists disabled children in playing sports. Though Hubert is making progress on his goals, living in a home not adapted to his injuries causes him much stress. His wheelchair does not fit in his bathroom, requiring him to hop on one foot to get into the shower. Additionally, he cannot reach many of the appliances in his kitchen while in his wheelchair. Living in a specially adapted custom Homes For Our Troops home will ease Hubert’s daily routine, giving him more energy for school and activities. He will be able to bathe without obstacles in the roll-in shower, and easily prepare meals for his family using pull down shelves and roll under sinks.
Hubert is choosing to build his home in Texas for the good school districts, health care facilities, and the rural feel of the area. Hubert says he and his family feel incredibly lucky to be receiving an HFOT home. “HFOT’s donors and supporters are changing lives. For every home that is built, a Veteran and his or her family are getting a new lease on life,” he says.