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Katie Walker, known as the face of electronics at the Combat Center Exchange, is known for her free spirit personality and love of electronics.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Charles Santamaria

What I've Learned: Katie Walker

21 Mar 2014 | Lance Cpl. Kasey Peacock

Katie Walker, known as the face of electronics at the Combat Center Exchange, is known for her free spirit personality and love of electronics.

Growing up was fun for me. I grew up four-wheeling, off-roading and camping. My uncle was involved in NASCAR pit crews, and my dad was involved with Indy cars, so I grew up in the pits at the races, riding a lot, and it became one of my passions.

Being involved in the races taught me to be fun, independent and random.

My biggest influence when I was younger was when I got my first CD, “Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols.” I remember at the time my mom said it was only a phase, but 22 years later, it kind of shaped my entire life and inspired my passion for music.

I ended up in the desert when I was 19. At 15, my mom moved out to Yucca Valley to be closer to our friends and family. At the time, I didn’t think it was cool enough, so I stayed in Los Angeles with my dad. I eventually ended up in Yucca Valley when I had my daughter to be with my mom.

I was applying for jobs and ended up at the Combat Center Exchange. I remember feeling very fortunate to get the opportunity to work there. I didn’t have any idea of what the military was all about, but I definitely have developed a lot of respect for what the military does.

At the Exchange, they call me the face of electronics. It’s still weird to me because I never used to be interested in it. After working in electronics, I began doing a lot of listening and learning and next thing I knew, I had all this geek knowledge that has helped me develop my passion for computers and technology.

The more I started learning about computers, hardware, software and networking, it got me excited and I would eventually like to pursue a career in it.

I eventually want to get my A+ certification and work for a technology company. National Cash Register, NCR, would be my ideal job.

I’ve never had a planned path. My life has always been random and that is how I like it.

People have asked me, “What are you?” I don’t know what I am, I’m whatever I want to be on any given day. I never pictured myself in a geek role, but now I absolutely love it.

I’m all about doing what makes you happy. Don’t feel that you have to fit into anyone’s outline of what they think you should be. I have been through a lot in my life and learned a lot from trial and error. I always say a phoenix has nothing on me. I’ve always risen no matter what I’ve done.

I don’t know where I want to end up or where I’m going to. I would really love to work with all aspects of computers and stay around Southern California.

I have a really creative mind, I’m really a “do it yourself” kind of person. I like crafting, not in the traditional sense like making doilies, but I like making a lot of music-related art. I constantly have my eye out for it. When I look at things, I see it from an artistic point of view and I think what can I make of this? What can I turn this into?

My passion for music has inspired a lot of my tattoos that are a collection of a lot of random things, from random artists. A lot of people put a lot of thoughts into their tattoos and try to make sense of them. For me, it’s just kind of like this is fun and makes me happy so let’s do it.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms