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SPC Javier Molinares was born on November 7, 1971 in Barranquilla, Colombia. On March 2, 1991, he came to the United States and settle in Miami, Florida. He worked for two years as a cargo handler in a Colombian company until he obtained his Commercial Driver License (CDL) Class "A". Then, he applied to work for Arrow Air, a cargo company located at the Miami International Airport, as a tractor trailer driver. Two years later, the FAA revoked Arrow's license to operate their cargo planes. As a concequence, the company had to lay personnel off to balance itsbudget. Javier was one of the unfortunate workers who lost their jobs during the Arrow's crisis.

After losing his job, Javier decided to join the US Army. He was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. Before Basic training, he attended English school at the Defensive Language Institute (DLI) in Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. Then, he went to Fort Benning, Georgia to complete the Army Infantry Training, and the Airborne course.

Javier was assigned to B/co 3/325 AIR, 82nd Airborne Division, after nine months of training. Soon afterward, he became one of the best soldiers in his unit for his discipline and dedication. Unfortunately, on January 31, 1998, he had a parachute accident in a mass airborne exercise called "the Purple Dragon." After his accident, Javier was evacuated to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC to get the proper medical care for his injuries. Finally, the army medics decided Javier couldn't jump anymore.

On August 9, 1999, Javier got out of the Army. He was disappointed about the way his military career ended. He wanted to do more for the 82nd Airborne Division. Luckily, Javier got his opportunity six months later when he met his former 82nd Brigade Command Sergeant Major, Stevenson Cuffee at Arlington Cemetery, Virginia. CSM Cuffee was the senior noncommisioned officer in the US Army Military District of Washington. He was at "the Tomb of the Unknowns" when Javier saluted him. Then, he gave Javier a coin, and invited him to his office at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, DC. At his office, Javier told CSM Cuffee his desire to join the 82nd Airborne Division Association to continue his work with the airborne community. CSM Coffee immediately called Manny De Jesus, the Executive Director of the Association, to connect Javier.

After completing all the paperwork, Manny assigned Javier to the Space Coast Chapter. Javier immediately was assigned to assist Eldon Loud, the former secretary. Few months later, Javier was elected secretary. As a secretary, he did an excellent job developing the web site for the chapter and making the monthly newsletters more attractive and professional. Later, he was reelected secretary for his job well done. He also became a life time member of the 82nd Airborne Division Association.

Javier Molinares lives in Palm Bay. He is attending graduate classes at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida to complete his Masters Degree in Technical and Professional Communication. He is also the publisher of the bilingual newspaper Al Día Today that circulates in Central Florida.



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