Military service runs in Benjamin Espinosa's blood. His father served in the Navy and his uncle, a Chickasaw citizen, served in the U.S. Army. Chief Petty Officer Espinosa followed in his father's footsteps, making the decision to join the Navy following the tragedy of September 11, 2001.
"I felt my duty to my country was even more needed at that time," he said.
Espinosa served in Afghanistan and later worked for the Secretary of Defense staff at The Pentagon. Today, he is a combat support technician for the Naval Special Warfare Unit, specifically SEAL Team 10.
"I think to be proud and to love your heritage, to love being Chickasaw, you also have to love being American," he said. "You also have to love everything that America stands for: equality, perseverance, professionalism and power."
A husband and father of three young children, Espinosa says he hopes his kids and descendants will look back on his service to his country and be proud, knowing that he was a good person and served his nation proudly. Anything worth having, he says, is worth dying for.