Loreto Mendoza Jr. was born and raised on Maui. He joined the Marine Corps right after finishing high school, in 2012. He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2014, for about seven months. When he was there, he did patrols and convoys.
The 24-year-old was also stationed in California for a few years after coming back from South Asia. Mendoza is currently using his GI Bill benefits to further his education as he decided to end his active service. He’s working towards the Radiologic Technology Program at KCC.
“[The military] gave me a lot of opportunities, education-wise. … I had to grow up fast. I was a 20-year old, 19 year-old in charge of guys who were 25-year old guys.”
In his free time, Mendoza enjoys spearfishing.