Veteran of the Month: Alan Garcia

Photographed is Alan Garcia of Milan, who committed his life to serving others.

By Joyce Ervin

Alan Garcia comes from a third-generation military family and always wanted to make the military his life’s career.
 This was important to him, as his grandfathers, father and uncles all served.
 He joined the Army in 1997 and was serving at Ft. Leonard wood MO. During infantry training, the drills and marches caught up with him bringing about a reoccurrence of a childhood foot injury.
 Bringing a lifetime dream and goal to a halt, “Yes,” Garcia said, “My arches fell, and I was given a medical discharge.” After 9/11, the Army reversed this decision, but attempts at re-enlistment were not successful.
 Disappointed, Garcia, who always wanted to serve others, became a reserve policeman for Minden City Police Department, a small village located in the thumb of Michigan. Throughout his service-related career, he added an EMT position and served as a public safety officer for the University of Michigan. 
He said, “I have always worked in a service-oriented position and focused my energies providing support to my community and country.”
 Here in Milan, he has started a woodworking business that also has a history.  While a freshman at Ovid Elsie High School, he was honored for his woodturning abilities.  He was featured in a newspaper article spotlighting his watch cases.
 He is now selling holiday-themed wood pieces through specialty shops, Northern Chicks and Textile, located on E. Main St. in downtown Milan.  He said he would soon have lots of Christmas goodies on display at these two businesses. Garcia also makes some furniture, such as benches and takes special custom orders.
 Garcia resides in Milan with his wife, Pam, and two sons, Wesley a junior at Milan High School, and Cameron, who is a fifth-grade student at Symons Elementary.
 To see his wares, or to order, visit his Facebook page; Garcia Handcrafted Wood Working or email him at agarcia78 [at] me [dot] com.
 
Joyce Ervin is a freelance writer reporting on Milan.  She can be contacted at:  jlervin42 [at] yahoo [dot] com.

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