A former truck driver and rookie trucking company owner recently turned to the military to help him get through the pandemic, and his entire family has followed suit.
Richard Jimenez was a truck driver for years before choosing to start his own trucking company in 2019.
“I wanted to pursue the American dream, financial freedom and take care of my family,” Jimenez said to ABC 7 Denver.
Then, the pandemic hit, and Jimenez had trouble finding loads, causing his trucking company to crumble nearly overnight.
“I woke up one morning and I started making my phone calls as usual and there was no one answering or people weren’t booking any loads,” he said.
Jimenez then began struggling to make ends meet, which sent him looking into other options to support his family – and that’s when he discovered the US Air Force. The more he looked into it, the better it seemed, so he went ahead and enlisted. Now, his entire family is jumping on board.
“Even though this is the worst pandemic our country has seen, we figured it out together,” Jimenez said. “This is how we are going to survive it.”
Both Jimenez and his teenage son Amarion have enlisted in the Air Force, and wife and mother Jenna has signed up to attend Air Force technical school. Now, the Jimenez family feels that they will always have a stable way to provide for their family.
“I wanted to put my family and I in a position where this couldn’t happen again,” he said.
“The support that the Air Force is going to give us, we won’t have to worry about anything like that again, meaning not knowing where to go or who we’re going to turn to.”
Air Force recruiters say that the Jimenez family is not the only one who has turned to the Air Force as a way to support themselves in uncertain times.
“There’s not a lot of employment that can meet a lot of the needs of and wants that people like the military can,” said USAF Tech. Sgt. Jeffry Stamm, who helped the Jimenez family with their recruiting process.
“Guaranteed contracts, medical and dental benefits, educational benefits, I think those are the ones people are seeking right now. That’s the whole reason that I joined in 2008,” he said. “Looking back 13 years ago, I was looking to start a family myself.”
Soon, Jenna will finish Air Force tech school, leaving Jimenez and Amarion free to leave for basic training. Best of luck and thank you for your service.