At 5 a.m. each day while on duty, David Garcia woke up to the sound of the alarm, strapped on his gear and readied himself for anything and everything.
“You are faced with tough decisions a lot of the time, but you don’t have a lot of time to react,” Garcia said.
Sometimes Garcia spent all day searching vehicles passing through a checkpoint and other times he jumped out of planes carrying supplies to his site.
He served in Afghanistan from Sept. 21, 2003, to Sept. 21, 2006, with the 3rd Battalion of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.
In college, Garcia, 30, felt the military gave him an opportunity volunteer his time for his country. And training, he said, helped him prepare for the war zone. While training in Edmonton, Garcia said the toughest moment was when the weather got to minus-54 degrees with wind-chill.
“When you are under fire, your adrenaline and training will kick in,” Garcia said.
After serving his country for three years in Afghanistan, Garcia has learned to approach cultures and religions differently. He learned “not to be stuck behind a wall” and to be disciplined and respectful through the strict orders given by his fellow officers.
Today, Garcia is husband and father of a three-year-old daughter with another child on the way.
Garcia spends Remembrance Day respecting “the sacrifice that our veterans made to protect our freedom.”