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Hugo Morales

Hugo Morales

Hugo Morales joined the Marine Corps out of high school because he wanted to broaden his life experience. He was a good student, but he wasn’t stimulated and didn’t like the idea of paying for college and being bored with it.

Returning to civilian life after 10 years travelling the world in the Corps, he struggled to find a path for himself. Needing a job, he walked onto a construction site in East Boston, where he grew up.

“I talked to the Carpenter steward, Joe Leonard, and he plugged me into the process of becoming an apprentice.”

Once accepted, Morales went right back to working with Leonard, building a housing project by Maverick Station. And though he wasn’t interested in college, that didn’t mean he wasn’t interested in learning.

“The Marine Corp emphasizes education. An educated Marine is a dangerous Marine,” he said and he found the same was true when he began working as a carpenter. He would watch others work and be able to pick up on what they were doing and learn to do it on his own.

Over his 8 years as a member of Local 328 in Boston, Morales has been given more responsibility, becoming a steward and a delegate to the North Atlantic States Regional Council.

Morales loves the trade because he says it helps him work out physical and mental stress and he can leave most of his problems at the jobsite. He also likes the legacy he’s leaving behind.

“I love the fact that you can come to work meet good people, sweat it out and accomplish something at the end of the day. My child could go to this school that I’m building right now.”⠀