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Sgt. Steven J. K. Elliott, vehicle commander, 1st Tank Battalion, loves to build computers. He built his own personal gaming computer and has helped others build their own PC’s. When he leaves the Marine Corps, he plans on going to college to become a programmer and make his own video games. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Natalia Cuevas)

Photo by Cpl. Natalia Cuevas

What I’ve Learned: Steven J. K. Elliott

5 Oct 2017 | Cpl. Natalia Cuevas Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

> I grew up in Haltom City, Texas. I lived with my mom, dad, and older sister. When I was around 10 years old we moved in to my cousin’s old house when his family moved to the family ranch.

> My family has a ranch out of town where I did a lot of ranch work. I herded goats, did cattle work and broke horses, which means that I trained them to be safe to ride.

> I played baseball, football, cross-country and basketball in middle school until I injured my knees in the 8th grade. I joined the marching band in high school and played alto and tenor saxophone. Outside of marching band season, I focused my attention on theater. One day, I came in to the auditorium early to practice and I noticed that the stage manager and the tech crew hadn’t cleaned up after themselves. I spent about an hour cleaning the stage because I didn’t want an accident or injury to occur.

> My dad was a police officer in the city of White Settlement, Texas. Even though he always had work, he did try to make it to as many of my sports games as he could. He used to be a SWAT instructor and even though he is primarily a fire-arms instructor now he still works as a patrol sergeant too.

> My role model is my great-grandfather. My great-grandfather was born in the 1920s; he experienced the Great Depression and World War II. He saw the adversity that was going on in the world and he decided not to let it dictate what he did. He wanted to join the military but his brother already joined therefore he wasn’t allowed to due to the sole survivor policy. Instead, he started a business that collected metal which was turned into bullet casings, which were then sent to the troops. He also had a wheat farm and three quarters of his crops were sent to feed the troops. Even after everything that happened he was able to persevere.

> My mom loved taking pictures and videos of me all the time. There’s a catalog of my entire life, from when I was born until now. She worked as a McDonald’s manager. I remember going behind the counter when I was a kid and choosing any of the toys I wanted. I ended up collecting most of the toys they sold there.

> My older sister, Adrian, and I used to fight a lot as kids. Now we are great friends, and we love spending time with each other. Before I turned 21, I was my sisters designated driver. Every time she would invite me somewhere, I knew I would be the driver. My sister was a little mad that she lost her DD when I came of age.

> One Christmas, we went to my family’s home in Brownsville, Texas. My great uncle is a game rancher. He has 15 square miles of land where he raises everything from elk to Javelina hog. During our visit, my dad and I went out at four in the morning and about 30 minutes after we arrived over 20 deer and hogs surrounded the feeder. My dad noticed a deer with something sticking out of its hind leg. My uncle told him that it was a $50 training dart that he lost, but the deer left before my dad got the chance to shoot it. About an hour and a half passed by and I shot a spike, which is a deer that is about two or three years old that has antlers that haven’t started to grow outwards. That was the first hunt I ever went on with my dad.

> I joined the military because I remember watching the World Trade Center falling on September 11th. The reason I joined the Marine Corps was because I was told by several of my teachers that I was lazy and did subpar work. I knew that wasn’t true and wanted to serve my country while proving them wrong.

> If I could give someone advice it would be that there are good times and bad times, and you just have to roll with the punches. Don’t let your bad times ruin your good times.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms