Martin Del Rio is one of the hardest working people you will ever meet. Once a homeless veteran, Martin learned what it is like to have lost everything and what it takes to get back on top. Now, as a husband, father, Iraq War Veteran and Army Wounded Warrior Advocate, Martin Del Rio knows first hand what it really means to be a Hoosier and what it takes to fight for Hoosier families. He learned the value of hard work from his father, a laborer who always said “in America anything is possible”, and from his mother, a homemaker that taught him to believe that something different can happen.
Martin grew up in a very low-income family in East Chicago, Indiana. During a time when the bottom fell out for the Del Rio family, food stamps kept the family from going hungry. That motivated Martin and his siblings to begin working. At the age of 12, Martin landed his first job selling $1 slushies’ in front of a local pizza house during the summer and cleaning the restaurant every night. In the winter he and his brothers would shovel snow for extra cash, and at the end of every workday, they would give their earnings to their parents to help pay the bills. Life was hard for Martin, but that did not stop him from doing well in school and studying Business at Indiana University as a GROUPS Scholar. It was there at IU that he met his wife Marisol, joined ROTC and enlisted as an Infantryman in the Indiana Army National Guard. Soon after, President George W. Bush would initiate the Troop Surge to Iraq, motivating Martin to volunteer to deploy to the front lines with an infantry unit out of Martinsville, Indiana.
After returning from his tour in Iraq, Martin struggled to transition back into being a civilian and coupled with the loss of his mother at the same time, the battle of coming home began to spill over into other aspects of his life, eventually finding himself entirely destitute. Through diligent hard work, faith and family support, Martin was able to work his way back up, and returned to working with Service members and Veterans.
In the years that followed, Martin continued to serve Hoosiers in the Indiana Army National Guard and helped with rescue efforts during the following “Snowmageddon” blizzards and spring flooding. Following his Honorable Discharge, Martin began helping Hoosiers get a successful start to their small businesses and assisted veterans and their families through the process of continuing their education. Martin tackled the harder issues that our Hoosier Heros were facing by finding resources that assisted struggling Veterans to bridge the gap so that they would not have to endure the pain of losing everything that they worked so hard for. In his most recent role as an Army Wounded Warrior Advocate, Martin has been able to make a much stronger impact in the lives of our Hoosier Hero’s by supporting severely wounded, ill and injured soldiers and their families throughout their recovery and transition back to duty or civilian life.
Martin leans on the simple philosophy that it does not matter what side of the aisle a Hoosier finds him or herself. All that matters is that we are Americans first. Martin wants to take that philosophy to Washington. That regardless of the party, it is the people that matter most. He wants to roll up his sleeves, reach across the aisle and do what is right for the people. If elected, Martin will continue his fight for Hoosiers by working to find solutions to our most pressing issues, creating an environment where small businesses can grow, job creation can flourish, and access to affordable, quality education and healthcare options become a reality.