Twentynine Palms --
> I was born and raised in Overland Park, Kan. It is a suburb outside of Kansas City.
> My dad was my biggest role model growing up. He was hard on me, but taught me the work ethic I have today. He never told me that he loved me until I left for the military, but he was always there for me when I needed him.
> My mother was a nurse in the emergency room. Even though she was gone a lot, she showed me the emotional support that my dad didn’t. They balanced each other out a lot.
> Being the youngest of four brothers was hard growing up. I took up wrestling in high school, which took me from being at the bottom of the totem pole to almost at the top amongst my brothers.
> When I was finishing up high school, I didn’t think I could or would even want to take up college at the time. I decided to enlist in the Marine Corps as a grunt.
> My brother and I went to boot camp together, which helped a lot. We’ve been around each other our entire lives. I went into boot camp thinking that 13 weeks wouldn’t be that long; I was very wrong. Having him there helped. At night when most people didn’t have anyone to talk to, I could talk to him.
> My brother is getting stationed in Miramar pretty soon, which means that we will be able to see each other quite often.
> The best part about training aboard the Combat Center is that we don’t have the same restrictions as Marines in Camp Pendleton. We have more training area, giving us more possibilities. Though the weather is rough, the training is good.
> I’m ready to put my training to use on my upcoming deployment overseas. On a combat it is important to keep a focused mindset because you might have to send rounds down range, even when you’re standing post.
> I try to get out and go around California every weekend if I can, whether it’s going to Palm Springs to get out of the area or head to LA to see friends that I went to high school with.
> The one saying that I have always lived by is, “Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.” Life is short and you only get one opportunity. I feel like if you work at a corporate job doing the same thing every day, you’ll look back and realize you never took any chances. That’s one of the reasons why I joined the infantry so, if anything, I can look back and say that I was a grunt in the Corps.
> My biggest role model in the Marine Corps has to be my squad leader, Sgt. Jacob Clement. The amount of outstanding information he has about our occupational field pushes me to work harder to get better. He definitely leads from the front. Anything he asks us to do he is always willing to help.
> When I get out of the Marine Corps I plan on attending college for computer engineering. My father started his own engineering company and I hope to take over the business when the time comes.