January Hero of the Month: From Marine to firefighter, a life of service

GOLDEN, Colo. -- David Perez is a hero who served his country in the Marines.  But his service doesn't end there.  And that's why we're honoring him as January's FOX 31 Problem Solvers Serving Those Who Serve Hero of the Month.

"I wasn't expecting this," Perez told FOX 31 when we surprised him at his Golden home.

Perez has served in the Marines for 15 years.  He's currently a reservist.  But he's also a firefighter with the Denver Fire Department.  Not only did he serve his country during two tours in Iraq, he continues to continues to serve his community every day- saving lives.

"He risks his life to help the world," his son Mateo told FOX 31.

Hero is an uncomfortable title for a guy who considers himself just a normal person who loves his country.  But he turned that love in to sacrifice when he went to war.  He was there for the initial invasion of Iraq back in 2003, and went back again a year later, serving in the dangerous hot spot of Fallujah.

"I wake up every morning, when I walk outside I look at the flag and I'm thankful for the country that we live in and the opportunities we have and, you know, we look out for each other," Perez said.

Perez is quick to point out - his family deserves the hero award for their sacrifice.

Along with a plaque, Perez received a $250 Visa gift card from our sponsors DCP Midstream and US Mortgages.

If you know a veteran, active duty service member, volunteer or family member of those who are serving or have served our country, nominate them for February's hero of the month.  Click here to find the nomination form.  We'll go over all the nominations and reveal our new honoree a month from now.

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