"I just feel that I owe this country a great deal," Barragan said by phone as he prepared for deployment in the battle zone. "I never believed that my education or professional success absolved me of a duty to serve."
"Whenever doubts crept in, Barragan revisited his motivations and thought about his mom, a single mother of Mexican heritage who raised him and two siblings by herself.
"We are all successes now by any measure," he said. "That's definitely a testament to her, but I don't believe it would have been possible in any other country. I just want to give back now."