My life really began 17 years ago--on September 11th, 2001. I was 13 years old at the time. I watched in complete disbelief, and with a broken heart, at what took place that day from my 7th grade biology class. Later that night, while watching the news with my family, I made a promise to myself and my country to honor the brave lives lost that day by serving in the United States Marine Corps.
Four years later, I enlisted into the Marine Corps. Still being considered an adolescent, my parents co-signed my enlistment contract. I was privileged to graduate from Boot Camp as a Private First Class due to earning the rank of Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America in 2006.
After graduating from Boot Camp from Marine Corps Recruiting Depot San Diego, and the School of Infantry--West, I was assigned orders to Second Battalion Fourth Marines, Echo Company, as a Mortarman in Camp Pendleton, California. I was attached to this unit for six-years, and it was during that time, I was deployed four times--two humanitarian missions throughout Southeast Asia and two combat missions to Afghanistan. During those six-years, I was privileged to serve alongside the best men and women I have come to know during my life, and I am a better man for knowing them. Through the actions of those men and women, I truly learned what Honor, Courage, and Commitment means--and how I could apply it to every aspect of my life. For example, I learned Honor is the ability to look back on your life knowing you did what was right in your heart, not only for yourself, but for others, as well. I learned that Courage does not mean that someone does not possess fear; but instead, it is the ability to rise up against adversity--knowing you gave your very being to ensure the safety of the men and women beside you. I learned Commitment was not only the overall attention-to-detail of individual tasks given, but it was also the commitment to the men and women in your team. It is the ability to look them in the eye--knowing there was nothing else you could have given in order to make them successful.
During my last two-years in the Marine Corps, I served as a Combat Instructor with The Basic School and Infantry Officer Course at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. During this time, I taught Lieutenant-Officers how to employ mortars in urban, mountainous, and rural environments. Every morning I put my uniform on, I remembered that I was one of the first Marine Sergeants that many of these students would work with in a highly-stressful and operationally-fast environment. It was my goal to be the standard they would expect out of their Mortar Section Leaders, whom they would be in charge of once they graduated. I did my very best to ensure they would be confident and successful regarding leadership and indirect fires--on and off the battlefield.
Following my time in the Marine Corps, I applied, and was accepted to, Texas Tech University. I focused my studies in marketing because I am passionate about selling a vision--whether through the digital landscape, or through a tangible space. After graduation, I proudly served military veterans on the Veterans’ Crisis Lines, as well as conducted military outreach regarding suicide/substance abuse prevention. Some ask, “How were you able to do this work?” It was due to the 'commitment' carried over from the Marine Corps. I am now where I have always belonged--FieldCraft Survival--an organization which only INCREASES the values I have learned to cherish. Semper Fidelis.