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While not in the field or completing his mission as platoon sergeant, Sgt. Ludwin Portillo, also known as DJ Boom, spends his free time performing and disk jockeying events. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Connor Hancock)

Photo by Cpl. Connor Hancock

What I’ve Learned: Ludwin Portillo

22 Feb 2017 | Cpl. Connor Hancock Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

> Growing up in D.C. was good for me. My parents came from El Salvador to raise me there. Living there made me who I am today and allows me to appreciate everything I have and everything I’ve earned, especially coming from a low income area.

>I joined the Marine Corps to travel and seek adventure. I knew the Marine Corps would allow me to gain independence and grow up while doing it.

>I’ve been DJing since I was 11 years old. When I started my hobby, my parents were big party people. We always had parties at the house and invited family members.

>We used to play CD’s for music, but at some point the disc would end and people would stop dancing. It got to the point where my dad got me a mix station and told me to learn how to play with it. It had two discs on each side, and I figured out how to play it. I learned and it stuck on me.

>I graduated onto CDJs, which are basically turntables for CD’s. I saved up and bought myself some more gear before finally moving onto turntables.

>I wanted to learn the roots of DJing. When you say DJ, the first thing most people think of is turntables, not somebody on a laptop. The vintage look is awesome, and the records bring back memories to a lot of older people. I play a lot of old school vinyl records at home, usually from the 70’s or 80’s.

>I’ve played at clubs and other hired events, but weddings are my favorite to play. They’re very special moments for the people you’re DJing for. I’ve always gotten good feedback from the couples and it feels good to be a part of that memorable moment at a wedding. That one night can be remembered for a lifetime.

>Right now, my main goal is providing music to the military. I volunteer a lot. It’s a hobby and I love it. I don’t do it for the money. Music lifts the soul and it sets the mood.

>Growing up, I always tried to stay versatile with my music, learning all types of genres. I like to get out of my shell and learn about other types of music and cultures. I’ve done different parties for all types of people. It’s important to give people their memories back through music. I spend a lot of time researching and downloading terabytes of music.

>I’ve been in the Marine Corps for about eight years and have made a lot of connections DJing.

>My goal has always been to open up a club once I get out of the Marine Corps. For me, the ultimate goal is having a business in entertainment.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms