American Heritage Funeral Home

10710 Veterans Memorial Drive, Houston, TX


Charles "Carlos" Thomas Garcia

26 February, 198122 September, 2019
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Carlos Garcia, formerly of Houston, Texas, passed away suddenly on September 22, 2019 in Waco, Texas, following a motorcycle accident. He was 38 years old.

Carlos was born to Richard Garcia and Anna Marie Rives in 1981 in Dallas, Texas. His father’s work with the FBI took Carlos to Florida, Puerto Rico, and finally Maryland where he spent his childhood and adolescence. In 2003, at the age of 22, Carlos enlisted in the United States Army and served with the 47th Combat Support Hospital out of Ft. Lewis, Washington. He was deployed to Iraq from 2005-2006 and was honorably discharged in 2007.

Carlos relocated to Houston, Texas where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Houston-Downtown, and began working with local Veterans. He was first employed by the Mental Health America of Greater Houston as a program coordinator for the Veterans Behavioral Health Initiative. His role was to help Veterans navigate the Veterans court system and to educate both the community at large and Veterans on Military Cultural Competence. He then became the Occupational Achievement and Outreach Coordinator for Adaptive Construction Solutions until July of 2017.

In 2014, Carlos launched a not-for-profit program called Cigar Nights 4 Vets that hosted networking events for Veterans at local bars and restaurants. It was there that he acquired the moniker of “Cigar Man.” Working with Veterans had swiftly become his purpose in life, and he dedicated every ounce of passion and love in his heart to helping his brothers in arms. On top of his responsibilities with Cigar Nights 4 Vets, he also continued as a mentor for the Veteran’s Treatment Court, and was affiliated with Mental Health America, Military Veteran Peer Network, Combined Arms, Lone Star Veteran Association, The Mission Continue, VFW Post 8790, Team RWB Houston, Irreverent Warriors, Team Rubicon, The 400, LLC, Harris County Veterans Treatment Court, MVPN Plainview, Veteran Toastmaster, Expedition Balance, Operation Enduring Warrior, Impact A Hero, Easter Seals of Greater Houston, The Scuttlebutt, Adaptive Construction Solutions, and Operation Forward Progress. Carlos has left behind a legacy of compassion, and through his charitable works countless lives have been touched and bettered. He rallied around his fellow Veterans with shows of support, and his contributions will ripple through all these communities as his impact continues to grow.

He is survived by his father, Richard Garcia; wife, Nan, of Houston, Texas; mother Anna Rives and husband Francis of McGregor, Texas; half-sisters, Cindi Cagle and husband Don of Midlothian, Texas, Kristina Michelle Brooks of Midlothian, Texas; former wife, Karina Garcia of Houston, Texas. In addition to his cousins, aunts, and uncles, he left an extended family of Veterans whose well-being was the driving force in his life.

A visitation will be held in Carlos’ honor on Monday, October 7, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. inside the Chapel of American Heritage Funeral Home, 10710 Veterans Memorial Drive, Houston, Texas 77038, with a Rosary to take place at 6:30 p.m. The Celebration of Life service will commence on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at 10:00 a.m., after which he will be escorted to the Houston National Cemetery, 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive, Houston, Texas 77038, where a grateful Nation will bestow him with honors and lay him to rest among the soldiers who inspired him, and those who he in turn inspired.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to The Scuttlebutt, a Veteran-owned business, or the American Heart Association.

The Scuttlebutt 314 East Main St. Humble, TX 77338 Harris County

American Heart Association 10900-B Stonelake Blvd. Suite 320 Austin, TX 78759 1-800-AHA-USA1

For those who will need to travel to attend the services, we offer the Dignity Memorial Bereavement Travel Program. You may call 1-800-224-4177 to access one of our travel specialists who stand ready to assist you and your family. Simply use the passcode 4196.


  • Visitation Monday, 7 October , 2019
  • Rosary Monday, 7 October , 2019
  • Celebration of Life Tuesday, 8 October , 2019
  • Committal Service Tuesday, 8 October , 2019
  • Reception Tuesday, 8 October , 2019


Charles "Carlos" Thomas Garcia

have a memory or condolence to add?

Brian Grehoski

14 October 2019

We are deeply saddened by the news of your son's passing; we pray that your heart and soul will find peace and comfort during this difficult time.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Rich.
Brian & Linda Grehoski

Mary Wiehl

8 October 2019


My heart breaks for you and your family. Please know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers.

Mary Wiehl

Fernando L Candelario

6 October 2019

To Rich Garcia and family,
Mari and I cannot begin to feel and understand the pain you and your family are experiencing, but please let us share our prayers to you and yours. Our sons are just months apart in age and it's very possible they played together at one of our FBI activities while in San Juan. May Carlos Rest In Peace. Take care my friend! Fernando and Mari Candelario

Becky Vela

5 October 2019

Garcia Family, so sorry for your loss, the hardest hing a parent can go tbrough is losing a child..... you have my deepest sympathy and May God give you all strength at this sad time.May Carlitos rest in peace. God Bless, Becky Vela

Missy Willett

2 October 2019

It was always so much fun to spend time with Carlos. Whether it be at a golf tournament, around a fire pit with a cigar or, at “the Nest”.
So sorry to hear of the tragedy. Carlos had so very much left to do in his short life. Such a loss!

With much love 💕, Missy

Tammy Rusch (Walters)

28 September 2019

Tammy Rusch (Walters)

28 September 2019

I am greatly sorry for your loss. The world is a bit dimmer now. He was certainly a light to so many.

Amanda Eddie-Allen

28 September 2019

I first met Carlos when he came out to San Antonio to check on what's going on with his CN4V team. That team consisted of myself, Miranda Barlow-Seelig, and Carlos. We were making strides for sure and enjoying every minute of serving our fellow brothers and sisters we have served with. As soon as we met he was BIG brother. Lol! He opened up something in me that I was afraid to do myself. He made me feel safe enough to pour my messy heart out and helped me sort things out. When I struggled, he was there. When he struggled, I was there. I can truly say, he saved my life. As well as MANY more! His heart was bigger than anyones I've ever met. And he loved his dad SOOOO much! Who is also an amazing man with a heart of gold. It was an honor to be able to serve along side him and I'll miss him forever. His love lives on though, through all of us. Family meant the world to him! I will remember this Cigar Night 4 Vets toast forever. Cheers brother! See you again one day!

We raise a glass to those that come before,
We got your back because that's what family is for,
So welcome back or welcome home,
At cigar night for vets YOU ARE NEVER ALONE!

Alex Diaz

26 September 2019

Love you bro. Going to miss you. Your kind heart was one of a kind. You touched many lives and many will remember you until they meet with you again. Glad we got one last shot together a few weeks back, your smile was shining that night. Love you fam.