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My desire to serve others started 1 year after high school. I loved sports and playing football, after about 3 weeks at college in Wisconsin, I realized my days of playing were over. A dream of mine throughout my teen years was to join the United States Marine Corps. By that next summer, I was off to bootcamp in San Diego!
I became a Marine in August 1993. My journey quickly led me to Tallahassee, Florida where I enrolled as a student while also serving in the Marine Corps Reserves, my unit being based out of Mobile, Alabama. My unit was challenging, it was a Force Reconnaissance Company which meant I needed to get my butt in tip-top shape in order to earn the privilege to serve alongside these fine men. After becoming an infantry Marine (0311) and working extremely hard at my physical fitness, I attended and graduated the Basic Reconnaissance Course located in Fort Story, Virginia. From there I attended and graduated Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Training (SERE) at Warner Springs, California, followed up with jumping out of perfectly good airplanes with round parachutes at Fort Benning, Georgia, home of the United States Army Airborne School. The toughest challenge I had as a Marine was when I attended Scout Sniper School at Quantico, Virginia in 1999. 24 students started, 8 weeks later there were only 2 of us that graduated. I was so proud to have fought through all the challenges and make it to graduation, wow…that was tough!
I share this information about my formative years not to impress you but to impress upon you my joy for serving others. In order to serve others properly, I feel I always need to be learning, which is why that decade of my life in the Marines was so important to what was coming next.
I moved to Fort Lauderdale in 2000 and eventually landed a sales job as a mortgage banker with a subprime mortgage company.