My friend Cheryl Ramirez at the SCV Chamber of Commerce recommended that Dorian Quezada, a fresh Navy veteran and new Santa Clarita resident, make contact with me as he was seeking employment opportunities and desired to meet other veterans. After Dorian contacted me, we met during the chamber’s Patriots Luncheon on July 12, and we met recently at Newhall’s Veterans Center for his veterans interview. I immediately sensed that Dorian will be a considerable asset in our fair city.
Dorian A. Quezada was born Aug. 20, 1981, in Vera Cruz, Mexico, where he lived until age 14 when his parents, with family in tow, immigrated to the United States after applying via our visa immigration program. Dorian doesn’t recall his parents enduring a frustrating process — rather, they stayed true in meeting all legal requirements. The Quezada family settled in Bakersfield, where Dorian continued his education, graduating from North High School in May 1999. While attending North HS, Dorian played on his high school’s soccer team and he became a Marine JROTC all four years. Part of Dorian’s experience with JROTC was at Twentynine Palms participating in Marine Corps training for one week. The notion of military discipline appealed to Dorian as he grew up where possessing a work ethic was of paramount importance to the well-being of his family. During the summer in high school, Dorian was a field worker picking grapes and performing miscellaneous farm work.
Associate Arts Degree
Following high school graduation, Dorian attended Bakersfield Community College, but still learning the English language, he was required to take additional courses. Dorian persisted, earning his associate’s degree in business administration in May 2004. In August 2004, Dorian began attending Fresno Pacific University, graduating with his bachelor’s degree in business administration in June 2006. While attending college, Dorian worked for Bank of America in customer service. After earning his bachelor’s degree, it was back home to his parents’ Bakersfield home where he worked for Morgan Stanley and then New York Life Insurance Co. While attending Fresno Pacific College, Dorian earned an award; a plaque that read, “Leading to Serve,” a verse from St. Matthew 26. As the months went by, Dorian felt there was something missing in his life and he yearned in some way to give back to America. Dorian said, “I felt blessed for the opportunity to live in the greatest and most free country in the world and I wanted to thank my adopted country. Though I was earning good money, I wanted to give back, so I began thinking about the military.”
U.S. Navy Enlistment
While he was training at Twentynine Palms, Dorian’s sister gave him a photo of him wearing fatigues, and one day later on while gazing at that photo, he made his final decision and selected the U.S. Navy, enlisting on May 21, 2008. On June 10, 2008, Dorian’s Navy recruiter drove him from Bakersfield to Los Angeles International Airport where he flew to Great Lakes, Illinois, for 12 weeks of boot camp training. Next, Dorian went to Meridian, Mississippi, for one month of specialty school for human resource training. That led to his next assignment at Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he spent the vast majority of the next four years managing an H.R. office supporting Navy reservists. While at Fort Douglas, Dorian was deployed to Soto Cano Airbase, Honduras, for human resource support from August 2009 to February 2010.
Fort Douglas proved most beneficial for Dorian for it was there that he was promoted to petty officer 2nd Class, E-5 and received the Navy/Marine Achievement Medal and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal (MOVS Medal). During Dorian’s off-duty hours he routinely volunteered in the community with Habitat for Humanity and the Ronald McDonald House of Charity. Additionally, Dorian often participated in military funeral services for deceased veterans. After four years at Fort Douglas, Dorian was assigned and continued his HR job function at Smyrna Training Center in Tennessee from 2012 to 2015. After hours there, Dorian continued his community volunteer activities. In February 2017 Dorian received a letter of commendation from Rear Admiral H.W. Howard III for his due diligence working way above his pay grade.
On Aug. 30, 2015, Dorian received his honorable discharge, though he had two years remaining of reserves duty. On June 10, 2016, Dorian and his new unit were sent to Gulfport, Mississippi, for preparation and deployment to Afghanistan with a U.S. Navy Seabee unit. On Aug. 5, 2016, Dorian departed Gulfport and served in Afghanistan until Feb. 28, 2017, at which time his military life concluded with nine years of dedicated service. Collectively, Dorian received the Navy Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, three Navy/Marine Achievement Medals, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal (MOVS Medal) and Afghanistan Campaign Medal. Since leaving the Navy, Dorian has been actively rekindling old relationships with family and friends and along the way he became infatuated with the City of Santa Clarita. He was drawn to move here during the summer of 2017 as he became acutely aware of our city’s strong appreciation for our veterans, active military personnel, family values, and our humanitarian qualities. Dorian looks forward to becoming a productive member of our community and participating in a myriad of SCV volunteer opportunities.
Back to the Future
Currently, Dorian is seeking employment in Santa Clarita and he plans to further his education and to hopefully continue associating with a wonderful young woman he recently met. Dorian has enjoyed meeting her following a smattering of text messages, a phone call and then a hiking excursion exploring our open areas. Dorian, I wish to welcome you to Santa Clarita and I thank you for your fine service to our great country.
Medal shown is Dorian’s Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal