Jose DaCunha (Photo courtesy of Gloria Montgomery)
FORT HOOD (November 17, 2012)--Harvard Law graduate and Portuguese immigrant Jose DaCunha always thought he would pursue law until his passion to help soldiers brought him to Fort Hood.
Capt. Jose DaCunha was born in Portugal, but he said always had a hunch he would one day move to America.
"I remember watching many American programs, and there was a kind of foresight that maybe one day I would come to America," said Capt. DaCunha.
Capt. DaCunha and his family moved to New York when he was 16 years old.
What he didn't know was he would one day become one of our nation's most patriotic symbols: a soldier.
Capt. DaCunha said he never considered joining the military until he saw his brother's friend in a ROTC uniform.
"I said to myself, 'I'd like to be in that uniform, too, one day,'" said Capt. DaCunha.
But Capt. DaCunha, who studied pre-law at Boston University and law at Harvard still had dreams of a career as a lawyer.
He opened a law office then later worked in insurance law and corporate law before he felt his calling to help soldiers.
"What a better opportunity then to be at the Warrior Transition Unit where these soldiers have sacrificed so much for our country," Capt. DaCunha said.
Three years later and countless hours with Fort Hood's Warrior Transition Unit and the Central Texas community, Capt. DaCunha is leaving Texas to become a reservist in Boston and work with the U.S. Department of Labor.
Those who know Capt. DaCunha said although he's leaving Fort Hood, the impact he has made will remain.
"Passionate, courageous, my mentor...I've learned a lot from Capt. DaCunha, and that's some traits I can take back to my unit after I leave here," said Sgt. Mark Hudson.
"I love what I do, but I also have to understand that I also have to transition the same way that I ensure my soldiers have a smooth transition," said Capt. DaCunha.