Daniel Gonzalez is a Houstonian through and through. The retired Navy Veteran is back in the Bayou City after five years of active service.
From Hawaii to Connecticut, Gonzalez said he was able to travel the world as a result of his years of service with the Navy, but everywhere he went, “there was really no place quite like home.”
Gonzalez says his time in the Navy gave him a chance to experience living in a submarine, in tight quarters for months at a time.
“I was on submarines for about five years. It's really great,” Gonzalez said. “The work schedule is pretty crazy. You'll go out for a couple of weeks, come back for a couple of days and then go back out sometimes, without seeing the sun for weeks, months on end.”
During one of his tours, Gonzalez said he was fortunate enough to see the Panama Canal in person after the submarine he was stationed in passed through the Central American waterway.
“I think we were one of the first submarines to ever do that,” Gonzalez said. “I really enjoyed that.”
Gonzalez said joining the Navy not only allowed him to travel, but it gave him the opportunity to pursue other careers after he retired from active duty.
“I'm actually in school now,” Gonzalez said. “I was able to get my associates degree while I was in the service. It was a pretty cool experience to go that pathway and see the world, really.”
Gonzalez says he is currently pursuing a degree in analytical instrumentation in hopes of becoming an analyzing technician at a chemical plant.
While he was with the Navy, Gonzalez said he learned a lot about energy sources, and in particular nuclear energy – which powered the submarines he worked in. Paired with the large energy presence here in Houston, he looks forward to perusing petrochemical work.
Gonzalez will be honored as the Hero of the Game Wednesday night when Hector Herrera and the Houston Dynamo host Carlos Vela, Gareth Bale and LAFC at PNC Stadium. Gonzalez, who says he has been to several Dynamo games, is excited to see some of the brightest MLS stars in person.
“LAFC, they’re a great team,” Gonzalez said. “With Bale, Vela, Giorgio Chiellini, they got huge star power. it's going to be cool to see how we play against them and I'm just really excited to see the game.”