Rep. Mike Levin Honors Decorated Former Marine Corps Captain as Constituent of the Month
Oceanside, CA – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) announced that Marine Corps Bronze Star veteran, Captain Derek Herrera, of San Clemente is the November Constituent of the Month. Every November, we celebrate the bravery of our nation’s veterans, and Rep. Levin is proud to share the stories of local veterans’ contributions to our community. While leading his team on patrol in Afghanistan in June of 2012, former United States Marine Forces Special Operations Command Officer Captain Derek Herrera was shot in the spine and instantly paralyzed. After returning home and undergoing rehabilitation for his injury, Captain Herrera sought new ways to help others who have sustained similar injuries. This desire led him to earn a Master’s of Business Administration at UCLA and found UroDev Medical, a company that designs and manufactures innovative solutions for men living with Urinary Retention.
See below for Rep. Levin’s statement recognizing Captain Derek Herrera in the Congressional Record:
“Madam Speaker, it is my great honor to recognize Marine Corps Bronze Star veteran, Captain Derek Herrera, for my November Constituent of the Month. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy, Captain Herrera attended The Basic School and Infantry Officers Course in Quantico, Virginia. From then on he was deployed on several missions, the last of these in June of 2012 in Afghanistan. On this mission, Captain Herrera was shot and paralyzed from the chest down. He was medically evacuated back to the United States.
“While he was determined to walk again, Captain Herrera came to realize that his injury was more permanent than he anticipated. With this new found understanding and a new mission, Herrera refused to give up his dream of finding normalcy, and in this process, discovered his new life’s calling. Captain Herrera began forging his new path by pursuing a Master of Business Administration at UCLA and founding UroDev Medical, a company that designs and manufactures innovative solutions for men living with Urinary Retention.
“As he learned more about medical research and technology, Captain Herrera became intrigued not only by its’ potential to help him, but also others with disabilities, including his fellow injured veterans. That’s when Captain Herrera discovered the ReWalk ExoSkeleton, a product that enables Captain Herrera to walk, stand, and sit. Although this technology isn’t permanent, Herrera saw a space and opportunity within the medical technology realm to give veterans injured in combat, another chance to feel a semblance of normalcy.
“Overcoming a life-changing injury is an incredible challenge, and I am inspired by the strength and perseverance Captain Herrera has embodied in his recovery journey and beyond. I thank Captain Herrera for his service to our country and his dedication to helping other veterans in similar circumstances. Captain Herrera’s personal decorations are a testament to his selfless service and sacrifice, including the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Bronze Star (with combat distinguishing device), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. As long as I have the privilege to serve as Vice Chairman on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I will look to heroes like Captain Herrera as an exemplary model of what it means to serve and support our veterans with reverence and resolve. I am deeply grateful for Captain Herrera’s continued service in helping our veterans, and I’m proud to recognize him as my Constituent of the Month.”
Representative Levin’s Constituent of the Month program recognizes outstanding North County San Diego and South Orange County Residents who have gone above and beyond to help their neighbors, give back to their community, and represent the best of our country. Rep. Levin’s October Constituent of the Month was Oceanside resident and Vista Family Health Center Physician Assistant, Edilberto Canseco. September Constituent of the Month was motivational speaker and first-generation American, Erica Alfaro.
To nominate a resident of the 49th District to be the Constituent of the Month, fill out this nomination form.