On a blustery day in a modest neighborhood in Central Fresno two parents talked about their youngest child, U.S. Army Sgt. Enrique Jimenez.
Martha Jimenez: "Another one who did something in his life on his own. I was proud."
Carlos and Martha Jimenez put their kids into their school's military cadet program to keep them focused on a future outside of gangs.
Carlos Jimenez: "It teaches you responsibility and to be somebody."
A young Enrique Jimenez was the last to excel in that cadet corps. He followed in the footsteps of his siblings and joined the military. From his current assignment in Ft. Jackson, South Carolina, he told us the Army welcomed him into their tent. "Feel I've done more in my life in six years than most people will in their entire a lifetime."
He was rejected first by the Marines and then the Air force, at five feet two inches tall he was considered too short. The Army welcomed him into their tent.
He shares his short stature with World War II hero Sgt. Audie Murphy, who at five foot five became America's most decorated combat soldier. That connection and a desire to excel led Sgt. Jimenez to compete for membership in the "Sgt. Audie Murphy Club" at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. The competition is among non-commissioned officers and only those with the right stuff earn the right to wear this medallion. His parents were there when it was given to him.
Martha Jimenez: "Just hearing people talk about him, it made me proud as a mom."
After six years Sgt. Jimenez has decided the army will be his life's career. The young husband and father is now preparing for his next assignment. "My mom and dad always said don't doubt yourself. You can do anything you want if you put your mind to it."
He is thankful for parents who guided him around the bad and into the good.
Carlos Jimenez: "He decided to pull it through. How far is he gonna go? I wish him the best. If he's gonna pull it on through, I'll be right behind him."