He calls his physical sacrifice minor compared to many — the loss of hearing in one ear.
“There are veterans who have far worse injures than I do,” he said.
Like many, he benefitted from the Wounded Warrior Project. So now, he wants to offer something back to the group that helps so many of the troops returning from overseas.
Esquivel lost his hearing due to gunfire.
“I was also a firearms instructor,” he said.
On the range, the troops are supposed to wear something to cancel out the loud noise of the shots being fired.
“We don’t always have hearing protection,” he said.
Back now, and in his free time from work at St. Mary’s Academy Charter School, Esquivel is raising money for a global program that helps servicemen as they leave the military.
“Since this is a military town, I am trying to raise awareness for Wounded Warrior project,” he said.
Many have heard about the group because of the fishing trips to Port O’Connor. Area guides and captains volunteer their time, equipment and boats to take the soldiers out for a day on the water.
But there is more to Wounded Warriors than just recreation.
“They have programs on education and benefits,” he said. “And also on family support.”
Despite the near 100 degree days, Esquivel is out on his bike riding city streets and country roads building his strength in preparation for the next Wounded Warrior benefit ride.
“My goal is a minimum of 500 miles by the 23rd of September,” Esquivel said. “If I do more than that, it would be good, but that is a minimum.”
Equivel is asking businesses to donate for every mile he rides. The money isn’t for him. It goes to Wounded Warriors.
“I am riding two to three times a week anywhere from seven to 15 miles,” he said. “I am also running two to three times a week.”
The running, that is for one of the upcoming 8K runs benefiting the project also.
He says he benefitted from the programs of the group, and he wants to ensure they continue.
“A lot of what they do is for us, and I wanted to give back,” he said. “If anyone is interested in riding, they are welcome.”
Esquivel can be reached at 361-354-4018 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 343-5221, or at editor@mySouTex.com.