Queta Lourdes Rodriguez – Her Unique & Inspiring Story
Queta is a public servant by nature. She was born into a family that has lived and breathed it since before her birth. She possesses the ability to listen respectfully, the finesse and years of experience to handle crisis and conflict diplomatically, and the skill and moral courage to make the tough decisions for the right reasons.
Her Dedication to Serving Others
Queta learned from an early age the value of serving others. Inspired by the motivation and dedication of her parents, Henry Rodriguez & Lourdes Galvan, Queta grew up with a deep appreciation and sense of responsibility to community and service. She has lived her life as a servant leader ever since.
From a very young age, Queta has always shown an interest in public service. Her calling to serve others and provide a positive impact in her community has guided her in every decision she has made in her life, the first of which was when she enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. Queta served as both an enlisted Marine as an Officer. Queta served our country for over 20 years and now continues that commitment to service as the Veterans Service Officer for Bexar County, Texas, providing the highest level of service to our nation’s heroes.
Her Early Years
Queta was born in 1970 in San Antonio, Texas, the third of four children born to Henry and Lourdes. Growing up in what was then and still is one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city, she was aware of economic and social injustice in the world around her. In second grade at J.T. Brackenridge Elementary school, she organized a classroom boycott of a visit by King Antonio during a Fiesta celebration. Her reasoning? They did not allow Mexican-Americans into the Texas Cavaliers and her school was nearly 100% Mexican-American.
Queta served in leadership roles throughout her school years and graduated with honors from Sidney Lanier High School. Queta was also civically engaged and volunteered at numerous events held in support of the community or for other notable community leaders such as Congressman Henry B. Gonzales and former Mayor of San Antonio, Mr. Henry Cisneros.
Queta was inspired by her parents’ service to their community, including her mother’s service to City of San Antonio as District 5 Councilwoman, her father’s activism, and the dedication of the community leaders around her. Through her own experiences and those of others, Queta learned the challenges and rewards from service to the community. The long hours, the tireless work, and the often-disappointing outcomes of social and political efforts were overshadowed by any improvements that resulted. She always understood the necessity of being engaged for the betterment of the community.
Queta is all about family and is the proud mother of daughters Marisa and Amaya, her son Miguel, and is a second mom to her nephew, Derrian. Queta’s siblings include older brothers Henry and Robert, who both served in the U.S. Navy, and her younger sister Laura.
Her Military Service
Queta enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1991, following in the footsteps of her older brothers Henry and Robert, who were already serving in the U.S. Navy. Seeing her brothers serving in the military, she felt a sense of duty and of doing something greater than herself. She had to stand with them. Queta faced challenges when she and her fellow Marines deployed to Somalia shortly after arriving at her first duty station, but she persevered.
Having served as an enlisted Intelligence Analyst, Queta decided to broaden her impact as a leader of Marines and pursue her education. She applied for and was accepted into the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program. During her time in the program, she earned her Bachelors of Arts in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park, and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in May 2001. Queta served as an Adjutant and Manpower Operations Officer for the next ten years. Queta’s final tour was as the Manpower Operations Officer at Marine Forces Central Command, where she deployed to Afghanistan and throughout the Middle East in support of Marine forces. Queta retired after 20 years of faithful service on January 1, 2012.
“Having been a U.S. Marine has been one of the greatest privileges of my life. It takes people from all walks of life to come together towards a common goal in defense of our great nation. It is about something greater than any one of us as individuals.”
Her Continued Service
Following her retirement from the Marine Corps, Queta was appointed as the Bexar County Veterans Service Officer in December 2013. In this capacity, with her vision, strategic and innovating thinking, and unrelenting approach, Queta completely transformed the Veterans Service Office into a more modern, effective, and efficient office. Using “outside the box” strategies, she has transformed the Veterans Service Office into one of the most recognized in the state. While continuing to face fiscal challenges, she has used the power of creating strong partnerships with external agencies to improve services and more effectively advocate for veterans, dependents, and their survivors. Queta has led her team to improve the lives of Bexar County veterans and their survivors by increasing their compensation into the millions of dollars, all of which goes directly back into the Bexar County economy.
Queta serves on various Advisory Boards such as the San Antonio Military and Veteran Community Collaborative, the San Antonio Express-News Community Advisory Board, and Texas Serves – San Antonio, a new collaborative platform that improves the collective impact of veteran services in the community. Queta is also Co-Chair of the La Ofrenda Veterans Monument Committee, a volunteer for Honor Flight San Antonio de Valero, and a volunteer for Wish For Our Heroes.
“After serving my country for 20 years, I now have the privilege of serving those who served. From our nation’s oldest to those who are transitioning from military service today, my team and I are in a position to help and that is truly an honor.”