How One Marine Has Dedicated His Life to Helping Veterans Succeed
"Because of Richard, we don't battle anymore," says Rachel Kusama, whose husband is a veteran
Richard Delgado Jr. spent 10 years serving his country in the United States Marine Corps. Even though he’s no longer in uniform, he has never stopped serving.
As the Director of Military Community Development at Texas A&M University-San Antonio, Delgado helps veterans and their families transition to civilian life and achieve their goals.
“Being a wounded warrior himself, [Richard] has made that transition so he is able to help other veterans and their family members try to make that transition too,” says Timothy Smith, Military Community Liaison at the university. “He’s held food drives for fellow veterans, gotten them healthcare and found them places to live – that’s Richard.”
In his role, Delgado helps veterans and their families access healthcare, counseling and academic support. He’s also helped start Patriots’ Casa, a center where veterans on the Texas A&M campus can come together to share resources and build a community.
Rachel Kusama, a graduate student at Texas A&M whose husband is an Army and Navy veteran, credits Delgado’s support with keeping her family together. When Kusama’s husband was struggling with the side effects of a brain injury, Delgado helped him get the medical care that he needed.
“Without these resources we would not be here as a family,” Kusama says. “[My husband] would not be here in front of you if Richard hadn’t helped.”
Delgado says serving others comes naturally to him and other veterans.
“A veteran will help another veteran before he will help him or herself,” he explains. “Most of those that join the military do it not because they want any accolades or any awards they do it just because they want to give back. This is my way of continuing to give back since I’ve taken off my uniform.”
While Delgado believes his dedication to this work is ordinary, those around him say he’s a hero.
“Richard is a hero because he’s going to help you no matter what because it’s the right thing to do,” says Kusama. “Because of Richard, we don’t have to battle anymore.”