I grew up a military kid as my father was drafted during Vietnam and served for 22 years in the U.S. Army. As a child, I didn’t think going into the military was for me. However, graduating from high school and going to college was a little bit of a culture shock for me. During my freshman year at East Carolina University (ECU) I found myself needing to grow up and mature. AT the same time, I felt a sense of obligation to serve as my father and grandfather did.
After one semester at ECU, I enlisted in the Army in January 1991. This decision ensured I put myself into a situation where there is little wiggle room for not getting with the program. Enlisting was easy. Telling my folks of my decision was a different story. However, as I explained what I was doing and wanted to do, my father gave me a quick education on what to expect and how to be. So off I went and thankfully, his wisdom served me well through training, my military career, and even today.
Funny, my basic training drill sergeants didn’t think that advice was good when they learned of my father being Army. They gave me a lesson in extreme exercise in what we called “Front, Back, and Go.” What was that? It was like Bill Murray yelling “Army training sir” in the movie “Stripes,” but without all the humor. Well, at least not for me; they, however, we laughing it all up while I dropped to push the ground further and further. Nonetheless, that experience and each experience that followed helped me become who I am today and taught me how to lead others (less the drop and give me 20).
My time in the Army was some of the best years in my life. I have worked with so many diverse backgrounds and experiences. It helped me mature, hold responsibilities beyond my years, become a professional, and allowed me to learn life lessons that are still valuable today. It was an adventure and an experience. I truly loved being in uniform. I would never change any of it but would be remiss if I didn’t mention a huge debt of gratitude for those past and present who sacrificed so much for our freedom.
To this day, many aspects of what I learned in the Army are still a core part of who I am. While my full story is more than a paragraph or two, I am truly appreciative of my time served in the Army, this great country, and alongside so many great people and leaders.
During my service, I spent time with the 18th Airborne Corp and U.S. Army Special Operations Command, both at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.
Some say you never really leave the military, as what you learn will last forever.
My transition from Army to civilian life came after I was given an opportunity to take a role with a defense contractor over reenlisting for another four years. To be honest, I was torn on what to do, but then one of my mentors gave me advice, which helped me make my decision. I’ll always hold tight the advice given as it’s what ultimately led me to where I am today.
I left the Army in 1998 and through career progression and advancement, I landed with Local Government Federal Credit Union in 2007. May parents laid the foundation in me becoming a young man; the military gave me valuable skills and experiences that shaped my professional career; and the credit union allowed me to carry on serving others.
All facets of my life been in support of others and ensuring that together we are capable of anything. These core values extend here at LGFCU and Civic Federal Credit Union, which ensure I am given the best opportunity to help staff and our members be their very best. I truly enjoy making a difference and improving the lives of our members.