Growing up on the south side of Houston, Jose Ramirez’s path of enlisting in the Army in 2002 took him from Texas to Fort Bragg. As an E-4 Specialist, he loved his job and the camaraderie with fellow soldiers, but after 3 years, Jose knew it was time to venture outside the military and into the civilian world. While working at Best Buy, he was selling cameras to customers and training amateur photographers on the technical aspects when he won a camera in a sales contest. Little did the single father know this windfall would open the door to a therapy he couldn’t realize would change his life’s course. After dropping Jose Jr., now 12, at school, Jose would go to parks and take photos of animals and nature, and there his creative side was unleashed. Photography is his passion, and his stunning, moving photos are a testament to, as he says, “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
But Jose’s service to his country didn’t end when he left the Army. Taking the advice of his VA doctor, Jose checked out Team Rubicon, figuring “why not.” He registered with TR, and the chance to serve alongside fellow veterans has altered his focus and helped to soothe the PTS he lives with every day. While Jose walks the walk when it comes to service, his most substantial gift has been to influence his son by his actions; Jose Jr. yearns to grow up faster so he, too, can join Team Rubicon in service to his country. Both father and son are part of the team that places flags on the graves at the Houston National Cemetery on Memorial Day, and they are there to retrieve them until the next holiday. Jose is an LSVA member and also part of the Mission Continues, where their current project is rallying behind a Vietnam veteran in a multi-phase effort to save, beautify, and maintain a terminal man’s home; to help restore his dignity and offer the camaraderie Jose himself found amongst his brothers in the Army.
One of Jose’s goals is to grow within the Team Rubicon organization and spread the word to fellow veterans about the healing powers of continued service, and he can certainly be found behind the camera’s lens, sharing his vision of the beauty all around. And Jose Jr. will be watching and learning from his father how to be a man.
Hit Jose up at firstname.lastname@example.org; share stories and experiences, get and give some advice; maybe he’ll even take your picture.