“The challenge is that you never,…
you never expect this to happen. Like yeah, you kind of hear of it. You see other people go through it, but you'd never expect for it to happen to you.”
Marine Corps Veteran, Estefan Encarnacion, recounts the tragedy that occurred during combat that left him seriously wounded and hospitalized for over 3 months in a hospital bed.
In a recent interview with KP of The Morning Formation Podcast, Estefan shares why he decided to join the Marine Corps as a machine gunner. During his third year of service, he and his team were on a particular mission, where a very unfortunate event occurred that involved an explosion that caused serious injuries and death.
Estefan Encarnacion grew up part of his life in the United States and part of his life in Costa Rica. His family was very poor but very hard-working. Estefan joined the Marine Corp in 2001 right after high school. He wanted to experience the challenges that came with being an infantry soldier. After retiring from the Marines, he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from California State University. He later earned his law degree from the University of La Verne in 2012.
In the interview, Estefan describes the aftermath of a landmine explosion that took place one night, during a mission. The explosion left him with extreme wounds that caused him to be hospitalized for over 3 months. Estefan not only suffered great physical trauma, but emotional trauma as well. He had feelings of guilt after the incident, especially after finding out that his Staff Sergeant had died during the explosion.
“But you know, I never wanted to have the Staff Sergeant's death be in vain. I felt it was my moral obligation to ensure that I do something good. And I do something worthy in my life, to ensure that his death was worth something. And so it inspired me to, to really excel.”
Estefan decided to take advantage of education opportunities after his retirement from the service, and attended university. He is now a lawyer, battling out in the courtroom, helping others to resolve their issues. He didn’t let his traumatic experience in combat hold him back from excelling, and he continues to serve others in his community.
To hear more about Estefan Encarnacion’s inspiring story, listen to the whole interview!
Blog post written by: Lina Gomez