Leader Spotlight: Sean Horgan
Our Leader Spotlights offer a glimpse into our diverse leadership: veterans who are continuing to serve their country and community in creative ways. Today, we profiled Sean Horgan, a Marine Corps veteran who enlisted shortly after becoming a U.S. citizen. Sean is a product manager, was Team Rubicon’s first North East Regional Coordinator, and is active in the leadership of VFAI Boston.
Tell me about your military service.
I joined the Marines a month after I received a green card—I had just moved to the United States from Ireland. I really wanted to give back to my adopted country and I couldn’t think of a better way to serve than by becoming a Marine.
How did your service shape the person you are today?
I discovered what it is to be an American through my service in the Marines. The core values of honor, courage, and commitment that I learned in boot camp guide me today. My American role models were the non-commissioned officers and junior officers that I worked shoulder-to-shoulder with every day.
As a veteran, what sort of responsibility do you feel to speak up on issues that relate to American ideals?
The USMC leadership principle that resonates most with me is “Seek Responsibility and Take Responsibility.” When I reflect on the American ideals of liberty, equality, and opportunity, I feel an overwhelming need to stand up for those who may not have the experience and access to resources that I do.
Sean, center, discusses the importance of the Special Immigrant Visa program with Senator Elizabeth Warren, alongside fellow VFAI leaders (April 2018).
Tell me about one issue related to those ideals that is of particular importance or concern to you right now. What are you doing about it?
I landed in a strong local community built by previous generations of Irish immigrants.
As someone who came to America as a young man, I want immigrants who come to this country to have the support and opportunity I had when I arrived from Ireland. The local allies who supported our military in Iraq and Afghanistan—who received visas under the Special Immigrant Visa program—don’t have the same networks to leverage. In Boston, I’m building long-term relationships with our wartime allies and refugees from other countries in the hopes of accelerating and easing their transition into America.
One way I’ve been able to do this is through VFAI’s SIV Sips, which bring together SIVs and veterans at local Starbucks for coffee and conversation. In fact, we just hosted one on December 8th in Cambridge.
What would you say to other veterans about the role that they can play in these issues as citizens?
Find an issue you care about, start small, start simple, but most important, get started. A quote that has stuck with me over the years is from Bobby Kennedy:
“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written the history of this generation. “