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Employee Stories: My Journey to America

jose-hernandez-
Not applicable

I was born in the small country of El Salvador in Central America, which to put it into perspective, Texas is about 30 times the size of El Salvador! I always envisioned myself living somewhere else, not because I didn’t like it but because I felt the need to learn about different cultures and see different ways of life. I moved to the United States in 2011 when I married my wife and became a permanent resident, and since then I’ve been adjusting to the Texas life. I made the decision to become a citizen when one of my Southwest Cohearts asked me if I would move back to El Salvador, when without hesitation or a second thought I said “NO.” To me this was a clear sign that this is where I should settle down and Southwest Airlines was a big part of that realization, giving me the chance to support my family, grow within the Company, and of course fly for FREE. I started the process of becoming a citizen in August of 2015. I shared this with my Leader, Christal Campbell, San Antonio Center Leader CS&S, but I asked her to keep it between us, and very respectfully she agreed. I went through the process and had different appointments and interviews, and she was very supportive, helping me adjust my schedule to be able to attend. Once I was notified that I was granted the Citizenship status pending the Naturalization ceremony she asked if she could share my news with our Team and this time I agreed.
With my Leader, Christal
The day of my naturalization ceremony, I arrived at the venue with my wife and my father-in-law ... it was theater for performing arts of some sort. I got a text from my Leader that “they” were there as well and I asked myself what she meant by “they” but then got caught up with the protocol to follow for the ceremony. When I settled into my seat I got another text to look up. I turned around and saw not only my Leader but several other Leaders and Team Members that attended the ceremony to show me their support. This was a very touching moment for me, to have my Southwest family cheering me on as I became a Citizen of the United States of America. Thank you for the LUV!
Front Row: Gwen Edsall, Kelly Wurzbach, John Alvarez, Roxane Kincaid; Dave Guevara, Juan (father-in-law); Rosie (beautiful wife); Loretta Bailey Back Row: Dawn Foster (not pictured), Christal Campbell, Lillian Bernal, Yoli Torres, Bonnie Archer
 
Front Row: Loretta Bailey Back Row: Dawn Foster, Christal Campbell, Lillian Bernal, Yoli Torres, Bonnie Archer