The Dominican veteran of the war in Iraq, Alex Arriaga, a survivor of a missile attack was appointed director of the Department of Veterans Services in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Worcester, Massachusetts. – Alex Arriaga, who emigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic at age 14, accumulates among other military merits, the Purple Heart Medal awarded by the president in the White House to the most outstanding heroes in wars.
Veterans service is a dependency of the Department of Health and Human Services of Worcester and Arriaga said it is the great opportunity to work and do a lot for his combat partners.
“I am excited to begin this new opportunity that will allow me to continue pursuing my passion to help other veterans and connect them with the resources they need,” said Arriaga, who took up a new position Tuesday last week in office.
“I look forward to collaborating with the Commissioner of Health and Human Services Dr. Matilde Castiel as we continue to serve veterans in the city of Worcester,” Arriaga added.
He served as employment and training manager for the organization “Veterans Inc.” of Worcester, working in several areas in that city and the suburbs of Shrewsbury and Devens since 2014.
He was named Employee of the Year in 2019.
Arriaga said he is eager to improve services for veterans.
“I hope to include diverse populations and provide reach to the leaders of each community. The army is a hidden gem no matter who you are. If you make the decision to protect the nation, we will all bleed and sacrifice our lives for the person next to us, ”he said.
He said he had no specific career goals when he was young but he met a recruiter and felt the urge to join the army.
From 2001 to 2007, he was a combat engineer in the Army National Guard and served in Operation Freedom in Iraq in 2005 and 2006.
During his time on duty, Arriaga suffered serious head injuries from the missile attack on the battlefield. He said it was a difficult time for him.
After the injuries, he felt he had a lot left and found his vocation serving others who have been in the army.
“Alex brings a great personal and practical experience to this position both through his military service and his professional work in veteran services,” said Augustus.
“His passion for his country, the veteran community and his city, made Alex an ideal choice for this position,” the official added.
Arriaga graduated with a degree from Anna Maria College Community College and an associate degree in criminal justice from the Quinsigamond Community Coleegio in Massachusetts.