DOWNEY – The “Best of the Best” is what can be said about the United States Marine Corps’ Juan F. Higuera. In June of 1999, Juan made the life-changing decision to become a United States Marine. “I joined the Marine Corp because the Marine Corp recruiters told me that they were the best of the best,” Higuera says. “I knew in my heart that that’s what I wanted to be; the best of the best.”
Higuera has been in the Marine Corps for 14 years. He currently serves in the Marine Corp Reserves. Juan desires to serve our country a total of 20 years.
Higuera acquired a Military Occupational Specialty (M.O.S.) of 3537 Motor Transportation Chief. With this skill, he was able to deploy three times. His deployment included Operations Iraqi Freedom and Endurance Freedom. While deployed, his various locations included Ramadi, Iraq and Afghanistan.
While serving, one of the trials that Juan had to overcome was the penetrating emotion of missing home. Juan says that what he missed the most about home was his, “Family, Kids and home cooked meals”. Juan says that what he missed the most was being away from his family.” Even though Higuera states that “being away for long periods of time” was the most difficult thing about serving, Juan also describes the greatest thing about his service. “The greatest thing about serving is the pride of serving my country and knowing that I have brothers to my left and to my right that will take care of me in times of need.” This, Juan states, is a true display of camaraderie that can only be seen within the Armed Forces community.
Higuera describes his training as a key tool that has been implemented in his civilian life. He states that his military training helped him establish himself in his career “in the way that I’m more disciplined and can work in any and all environments that I’m placed in.” Juan’s advice to anyone considering joining the United States military would be to confirm within your inner self that this is what you really want to do. “I have seen people come into the service and then discover that it’s not what they expected. It is hard, rough and its reality. You will be away from home several times working long hours but in the end you’ll feel a great sense of satisfaction knowing that you were able to achieve everything.”
Juan is currently working for RMI International, a private security company, as an Assistant Manager. His future plans include completing his twenty year commitment to the Marine Corp and to pursue higher education in the form of acquiring a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting.
Higuera lives one day at a time with his wife Fernanda and their four children by his side.
“Coming Home: A Veteran’s Story” is a project between the Living Tree Foundation and the Downey Patriot, with the goal of telling the stories of local veterans. If you are interested in telling your story, contact Julie Garcia at (562) 884-8683 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published: Oct. 9, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 26