He Changed His Stars

Astronaut Joe Hernandez Is flying high in his run for Congress

By Casandra Moreno Lombera, Spicy Cilantro
Published on LatinoLA: September 6, 2012

He Changed His Stars

Originally published at Spicy Cilantro

Remember the impoverished father in "A Knight's Tale" who told his little boy that he could change his stars? The concept has always intrigued me. Here's a modern day tale that chases after the metaphor and includes our galaxy's 400 billion or so stars.

I do not personally know former astronaut Jose Hernandez, the reputed champion in this non-fiction scenario. Since I've never met or spoken with him I want to clarify that my interest in his biography is not about issuing a political endorsement. It's about sharing an amazing story for which we can only pray for an equally triumphant ending ‘«™which is ever so tough to achieve in politics.

I'm always scouting for truly principled, well bred elected officials for whom I can cheer. And then every so often, after a few rodeos, some democrat or republican shreds my heart after seeming to have lost their mind over power, money, sex, or some other obsession. Am I crazy for hoping for better? I really don't want to get jaded. Am I all alone in the room?

Back to Hernandez. He is the son of a poor, Mexican migrant worker who is running for Congress in California's 10th district and has just celebrated his three year anniversary with the Discovery Space Shuttle team (Aug. 28th, 2009). He is a pilot, an engineer, a self described problem solver, and a former cucumber picker who decided his future at the age of nine after watching live coverage of Apollo 17's final mission to the moon. Jose applied to NASA 12 times and after failing to make the cut, he strove to improve himself, received his pilot's license, became a master SCUBA diver, and learned to speak conversational Russian. ‘«Ű Excerpt from Meet Jose Hernandez for Congress.

That nine-year-old changed his stars. This video (in English with some Spanish sprinkled in) captures a moment with Hernandez on the campaign trail. About 7 minutes in length, it is worth viewing to hear his "5 simple ingredients for a successful life." The way I see it, a man of good measure is launching a new chapter at a time when our country needs more ethical heroes in the house than ever. Hope this one's character sticks. I'm keeping the faith.

‘«ŰCasandra Moreno Lombera, guest Spicy Cilantro blogger

About Casandra Moreno Lombera, Spicy Cilantro:
Casandra is an EMMY nominated TV producer (Cafe California) and writer and author of Light Riders: The Power Of The Obis (Xulon Press). To read more of Casandra's amazing stories, visit:
Author's website

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