I started in the United States Navy in 1993. I attended boot camp in San Diego, served on the USS Fahrion and with the MOTU-10. I attended Service School Command Great Lakes for A and C school and then served on the USS Milius. I discharged from active duty, but remained in the active Reserves, serving with LEPSU 0188 unit out of Denver until I left honorable service in 2001.
My service gave me a life perspective and earned perspective. It brings home what people helping people really means. No one appreciates home, or that you have a home, until you lose it. The same goes with state, country, and continent. To see what a real third-world country is humbles you. To see a real struggle to survive to live to the next day gives you a reality that most will never see. To see repression and to know they know no other way drives your desire to speak up for those who don’t know how to use the collective power of their own voices. All of this gave me a deep appreciation for the freedoms we value and that we have choices in life.
My last command was named after the hero Paul L. Milius, an unselfish pilot whose plane was shot down in Vietnam. He held his plane in flight long enough to get his crew off the plane and he perished in the crash. His actions saved many. That sacrifice gave our command, the USS Milius DDG-69, our ship’s creed of “alii prae me,” which means “others before me.” Since the commissioning of that command, the service under some great leaders, coaches, and mentors has guided me through a long life of servant work and a passion to help others. Today I am the vice president of political affairs at the Mountain West Credit Union Association. As a credit union development educator (CUDE), I am proud that I not only believe in the people helping people motto, but I actually live it.
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