A Bloomington native is the July Military Hero

VICTORIA, Texas – A Bloomington native is the July Military Hero.

Eric Salinas joined the military in 2007 and was deployed three times to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Bloomington native had just graduated from Faith Academy and moved to San Marcos with some aspirations to play baseball for Texas State University when a recruiter offered him a ride to the river one day that fateful summer.

“I was actually going to go float down the river, San Marcos River,” Salinas said. “And the recruiter stopped by and he was like, ‘Hey, do you need a ride?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, sure. Why not?’ He was like, ‘Hey, you want to join the military?’ and I was like, ‘I always wanted to, so let’s do it.'”

Salinas worked as an engineer in the military and worked on construction projects and identifying where any potential improvised explosive devices or IEDs may be.

“And we pretty much have to spot them before they clear the road for everyone else to drive on their mission,” Salinas said. “We were at where were the first ones out every morning to go and clear out the roads on the bombs and then go on. It was basically what we did all day. I got hit a few times. No one is perfect. I got blown up a couple of times.”

To this day there is no cartilage left in his right shoulder.

A Bloomington native is the July Military Hero

“There’s no cartilage, there’s basically just bone rubbing on bone,” Salinas said. “But, um, yeah, they never brought up, the VA never brought up anything about any kind of surgery or nothing like that.”

Although he now has steady work thanks to his experience gained in the military, Salinas says he misses the military service.

“I think about being deployed all the time,” Salinas said. “Like I still wish I would be there. Like, even though it was horrible, like to me that was life like, like I had all my friends every day…I just kinda it’s that comradery like that.”

The Biden administration is working to remove all troops from the area.

Salinas says he’s confident the u-s will continue to have a presence in the Middle East.

“I mean, you never know how the president is or what his actual intentions are. He might pull everybody back home. Like, I mean, which I don’t think that would be very smart, but as long as we have a strong point or a presence in that area, for the meantime, it would be very good.”

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A Bloomington native is the July Military Hero.