Member Carlos Wallace is a man with many titles: Union Pacific engineer, general committee secretary (GO 927), local chairperson, delegate, philanthropist and author. He can now add another – official spokesperson of the Texas chapter of USA Cares.
The U.S. Navy veteran of Operation Desert Storm and self-described “good ole’ country boy from East Texas” is a fifth-generation railroader and a member of SMART Transportation Division Local 11 at Houston, Texas.
USA Cares and its network of partners provide financial and advocacy assistance to post 9/11 active duty U.S. military service personnel, veterans and their families. They assist all branches of service, all ranks and components and treat all with privacy and dignity in appreciation for their service and sacrifice.
USA Cares enlisted Wallace in its “Authors United for Veterans” program after discovering his book “Life is Not Complicated, You Are,” detailing his journey from Jacksonville to Houston, railroad engineer to businessman and philanthropist. He uses his unique story of triumph over tragedy to demonstrate how everyone can use his or her past to become empowered.
The “Authors United for Veterans” program is a partnership between USA Cares and leading American authors willing to promote and support national awareness of veteran issues.
“I had faith the book’s message would reach a broad audience. But, when an organization like USA Cares takes notice and tells me my work will matter to those who have sacrificed so much for me and our country, I am humbled beyond words. Time to get to work,” Wallace said.
In his book, he addresses life’s moments of loss, setbacks and sadness and teaches how to turn these dark moments into opportunities to learn, heal and grow.
“When you reach a place where you can view setbacks as reminders to appreciate the good things in your life, you have taken the first step to owning your destiny as a happier, more joyful, and more successful person,” he said.
In a foreword to Wallace’s book, retired UTU Director of Organizing and current adjunct professor at Franklin University, John A. Nadalin, Ph.D., writes: “Carlos Wallace understands that genuine reflection on our upbringing, good or bad, will allow us to make better choices in our life, or at least, to minimize the mistakes we have all made from time to time. He notes that the legacy we will leave to those who survive us is entirely within our control and that we should never waste the opportunity to ensure that this legacy is one we can be as proud of in life, as it will be in death.”
Wallace is also the president and CEO of a Houston-based philanthropic and entertainment company called Sol-Caritas which, translated from Latin, means “elite giving.” The company, while promoting entertainment venues, assists local charities, gives back to education through scholarships provided by the Alice Wallace Foundation, and supports businesses by offering valuable sponsorship advertising. “Dedication to charity, giving back to the community and enrichment of the community guides our purpose,” Wallace says.
He said that his primary work as a USA Cares spokesman will include speaking with cadets and counseling them on maintaining financial stability as they transition from military life to civilian life.
USA Cares has already responded to over 50,000 requests for assistance with over $11 million in indirect-support grants.
“Be a better man every day,” Wallace said. When asked how he defines “success,” he answered that a person’s success is determined after he or she has passed.
“When the void left by that person impacts those who were in his or her life in such a way that they ask, ‘How can we ever replace him?’ – this is the true sign of success.”