Parents were Cuban refugees who reached the US in the hold of a fishing boat. Resettled in California; parents became citizens in 1986. Eddie was born in US.
Fiercely proud of being American; graduated at top of high school class. Enlisted & became a field medic w/3 tours in Iraq.
Received Purple Heart after HUMVEE he was in was hit with an IED. Left the service after recovering & spent 1 year working with Médecins Sans Frontiers in East Africa.
Returned to US and went to work as a nurse for the VA. Actively involved in veterans groups seeking to improve care for returning soldiers. Has neither love nor respect for bureaucracy. Has been known to go out of pocket to provide for patients when the system failed to do so.