Hope For The Warriors is proud to recognize Luis Cisneros as our Athlete of the Month this June. Born in Honduras, Luis moved to Brooklyn with his mother when he was about 12 years old. His journey from a young immigrant to a respected Marine veteran and passionate athlete is nothing short of inspiring.

Luis’s path to the military was somewhat serendipitous. “I was going to a year of college; my cousin was going to join the Navy. We went to see a Navy recruiter, but he wasn’t there, and a Marine recruiter was. My cousin joined the Navy, I joined the Marines,” Luis recalls. This decision led to a distinguished 30-year career in the Marine Corps, where he rose to the rank of Master Gunnery Sergeant. Reflecting on his service, he says, “Sometimes I pinch myself that I’m actually here. I was in some places where you take a deep breath.”

Luis Cisneros in uniform.

After retiring from the Marines, Luis faced new challenges. “I gained some weight. I was about 250 pounds,” he admits. However, his determination to regain his fitness was unwavering. He sought the guidance of a nutritionist and began setting and achieving his health goals, a testament to his resilience and strength of character.

Luis’s journey with Hope For The Warriors began when he learned about their programs for athletes. “I wanted to be that guy to help somebody. One day I saw [HOPE] had an event, and I asked how to get on the team, I want to represent,” he explains. His dedication and enthusiasm quickly made him a familiar face at events. “I run Monday through Friday. Rain, cold, you name it. Folks see me in events, and they say, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re that guy that runs every day!’ If I can touch someone like that, it makes my day.” His selflessness and dedication to the cause are truly inspiring.

Luis Cisneros, Hope for the Warriors Athlete of the month for June 2024

Luis is committed to spreading the word about Hope For The Warriors. “I put my number right below my shirt so they can read it. I figure I have no excuse. I have a bad back and neck, and both of my knees are messed up. If I can get out and push myself, feel their pain while I’m running, that’s something I can do for them.”

At 64, Luis continues to push his limits. This year alone, he has completed ten half marathons, intending to run 20 by the end of the year. His next primary target is a 40-mile run next year. His perseverance and spirit are truly inspiring.

Jenna McDonald, Director of Physical Wellness, Sports & Recreation for HOPE, nominated Luis as the Athlete of the Month. “Luis has the best spirit. He is just a blessing to have as a part of Team HOPE – his smile lights up any room,” she says. Jenna first met Luis at last year’s Jacksonville Block Party, the day before the race. “My first impression was, gosh, I need to get on his level! I was so impressed by Luis’s zest for life, his passion for running, and his love for his country and service.”

Luis Cisneros, and other runners with their medals.

Jenna highlights Luis’s positive influence on the team: “Luis welcomes everyone, he has a friendly, outgoing, and infectious spirit. He is a true teammate to all and will cheer you up and on no matter what.” His presence on the team is not just inspiring, but also uplifting, creating a sense of camaraderie and unity.

Luis Cisneros embodies the spirit of Hope For The Warriors. His journey from a young immigrant to a Marine veteran and now a dedicated athlete is a testament to his resilience and passion. We are honored to have him on our team and look forward to supporting him in future endeavors. Congratulations, Luis, on being our June Athlete of the Month!

HOPE would love for YOU to be a part of the Team!

Team Hope For The Warriors (Team HOPE) provides athletes of all abilities the opportunity to compete at various endurance events throughout the year.

Warrior Team members are provided with race support, goal-setting opportunities, and social engagement to ensure that they all feel the camaraderie, belonging, and connection that comes with being part of a team.

All Warrior Team participants must connect to services with Hope For The Warriors before being added to the program.