Service runs in my family.
I signed up for the Navy my junior year in high school. I wanted to follow in my grandfather’s footsteps and serve my country. I eventually went through Field Medical Service School, and became a Fleet Marine Force (FMF) Corpsman. On a deployment around South America and up the western coast of Africa, we trained with other countries’ militaries, drilled in preparation for attacks, and touched the lives of thousand of men, women and children through the Navy’s Community Relations (COMREL) and Project Handclasp Programs.
The Navy was challenging, rewarding, and taught me lessons about life that I apply every day at home and in my job at Color. Chief among them is to never quit, to persevere and to get the job done. For example, to be deployed as a medic with the 2nd Marine Division I had to physically keep up with the Marines. At the beginning I fell behind on runs and was placed on remedial PT, which meant earlier mornings and longer runs. There were superiors saying I wasn’t going to make it, but I refused to give up. And in the end, I proved I could do it. Something I keep in mind whenever I face a new challenge.
Serving my country was one of the greatest honors of my life, and while I may no longer put on the uniform, I remain committed to helping others. Today, I partner with healthcare providers in Tampa and northern Florida to help more people live their healthiest life that science and medicine can offer. On Veterans Day, and everyday, I am thankful for the incredible sacrifice of all our servicemembers and their families and remain deeply grateful for the opportunity the Navy gave me.