SSgt Francisco Escobar is a FOCUS Marine from our September 2012 FOCUS session. He was active duty in the USMC from 1999 through 2008, and he epitomized the true character of all Marines by his honor, courage, and commitment. During his active duty, he was deployed twice to Iraq serving in the War on Terror. However, Francisco’s call to action, or “0400 moment”, did not come in the Mideast combat theater, but on deployment in another far-off “friendly” land.
In 2005 while stationed in Japan, Francisco was honored as “Marine of the Year” in his unit. But also that year, his life took a dramatic turn.
One night while in town, Francisco answered the call of a damsel in distress – a young local girl being attacked by a group of local thugs. The altercation that ensued left him in a coma with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).
SSgt Escobar awoke from the coma three months later. However, he was a shadow of the young Marine that he was just three months earlier. His TBI was so severe that he could no longer function independently on his own. He required a care-taker to help in his every day activities. He was even assigned as a fiduciary to manage his affairs.
Francisco’s heroic fight for recovery had begun.
With the help of the VA and his NMCRS visiting nurse, Francisco began taking steps on the long road to recovery. Included in this journey was his participation in FOCUS.
One of the tasks that we assign all FOCUS participants is the completion of three goals – their SMART goals as eloquently described by Walt, our FMF President, in this and earlier issues of InFOCUS. Francisco defined his SMART goals and began working toward each one systematically even with his TBI. It took a little longer than most – 27 months to be more precise – but Francisco completed his goals and is now moving on to new thresholds with his recovery, and in his life.
Francisco NEVER lost the FOCUS mindset. He has displayed the perseverance and resiliency that stands as an extraordinary example for all FOCUS graduates – past, present, and future.