Michael Requenez of Killeen is a hard-working man who over the last several months has demonstrated the great amount of love he has for his community.

I remember the first day I met him. One early morning in January, I was walking around the Harker Heights Recreation Center gymnasium looking for a military veteran who could talk to me about post-traumatic stress disorder.

Suddenly, a custodian pushing a broom across the gym floor approached me and started a conversation. It was Requenez.

He willingly offered to tell his story of how he spent nearly a decade working as a civilian contractor in Iraq. Because of the traumatic experiences he had there, he fights an ongoing battle with PTSD. He still has flashbacks at times and is jolted awake in the middle of the night when a helicopter flies over or a car backfires.

Requenez was a really good sport about sharing his personal experiences and how PTSD impacts his family. After our first encounter, I’ve run into Requenez frequently.

Each time I see him at the recreation center or City Hall, he approaches me and greets me by name, then tells me about something going on in Harker Heights or Killeen.

Along with his custodian title, he’s also an unofficial but avid promoter of community events. And while working for the city, spreading the word about happenings around town and spending time with family, Requenez also found time to attend the Harker Heights Police Department’s Citizens Police Academy.

Requenez definitely made a lasting impression on me. His positive outlook on life has made me want to spread the same positive vibe, no matter how tough life may be.

I look forward to seeing him again soon, hearing his stories and learning about the latest community events.

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