In December of 1988, I made the life decision to enlist in the United States Navy. I was still a senior in high school and entered in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) to secure my departure date for bootcamp and my job. In August of 1989, I left for boot and by January of 1990 I was stationed at Pearl Harbor, HI. While my next three years were formidable in shaping the man I am today, I never lost focus on why I enlisted.
I am not only a patriot to our country, but being a naturalized citizen, I felt I owed it to America and my family for giving me all the opportunities at my second chance at life. I was fortunate to serve, be honorably discharged, and then begin the the next chapters in my life story.
Unfortunately, some of my fellow military officers and enlisted brothers and sisters didn't come home or came home to find that they had to readjust to civilian life with limbs missing and mental disabilities. I certainly thank you ahead of time for recognizing my years of service, and I truly appreciate your kind words, but please don't forget the veterans who struggle each day as they readjust to life in our America. Also, take a moment of silence to honor your military friends and family who gave their life so that we can continue to live with our freedom.