MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Sergeant Richard Hernandez followed his father and brother’s footsteps into the Marine Corps right after high school.
Getting ready to do another four years of service, he has discovered a way to cope with his stress and fulfill his love for adrenaline by longboarding.
Hernandez, a cyber network technician for the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, longboards to deal with the everyday stress of life and work. In this interview, he tells us a little bit about his hobby and why he loves it.
Q: What inspired you to join the Marine Corps?
A: I think it mainly is a family thing. My older brother did it, my father did it so out of high school I figured, “why not? I’ll give it a shot.” I didn’t go to any college because I figured I’d do that later. I wanted to join the Marine Corps as soon as possible.
Q: What does your job entail?
A: My job mainly has me working with networks; that’s our main goal. But we’re kind of a jack of all trades, we do everything with networks, computers, routing, switching, anything.
Q: Why is your job important to the MEU’s mission?
A: I’m part of [communications] so I’m with the S-6. We’re a big part of the MEU. Without communications you can’t really do much. It’s a vital part. We set up communications for the entire MEU, not just the command unit.
Q: What got you started longboarding?
A: When I was a kid I started skateboarding for a little bit. I had a cousin that was really into it so I figured I’d give it a shot. Honestly, I wasn’t very good. Then one day I saw this thing that was almost just a longer version of a skateboard; a longboard. So I gave that a shot, I saved up money for it. It’s not that hard to get good at it. You just put it on the ground and get going. It’s just fun to cruise around.
Q: Why do you longboard?
A: I’ve been doing it since I was in middle school on and off. It really helps relieve stress in a way. If I have a long day at work, have family issues going on or something stresses me out, I’ll take it, go outside and go for a cruise. It takes my mind off of things.
Q: What is your favorite thing about longboarding?
A: The reason I really like it is it’s really relaxing. I can just cruise down the side walk or take it down steep hills if I feel dangerous. Just the adrenaline of knowing something could go wrong and I could get hurt. I’m an adrenaline junkie so I like to find big hills and go down them.
Q: How does it feel when you’re riding?
A: No matter what I do on a longboard, the feeling I get when I ride is just amazing. It’s always good, it never disappoints. I can get on it, ride down a hill and get that adrenaline or I can ride down a flat street and it’s just relaxing. I just keep going, keep pushing. It just really helps me clear my mind.
Q: How long do you plan on continuing to longboard?
A: I think I’m just going to keep longboarding until I become an old man and I have to ride around in a wheelchair. Even then I’ll see if I can stick my wheelchair on a longboard and keep going. I don’t think I’ll ever stop riding longboards. You’ll see me; I’ll be that old guy still wearing vans and cargo shorts riding around, 60 years old. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
For the Warrior Wednesday video on Hernandez, visit our YouTube page at: http://youtu.be/yZ0h0DIMejI