I’m extremely disciplined in all aspects of life. As a young boy, I learned discipline from a very strict military father, who ran his household as his own personal military and taught us self-discipline and setting goals. At seventeen, I decided that if my family life was run like the Marines, I should join the Marines.
I got on the bus to leave the little town in Iowa behind and enter in to a new chapter in my life. I took away such an abundance of knowledge from boot camp. I don’t talk to my own kids like a drill instructor (and neither do thoughtful drill instructors), but I was struck by the example the drill instructors provided. Kids want values, but they are suspicious of talk without action, so while you need to talk to kids about values, your words will be meaningless unless you practice them as well. Discipline and the pursuit of excellence is one of the most effective, but least used actions, in society to motivate people today.
As I grew in life and in the Marines, I learned that with discipline comes integrity, courage, and commitment. My true test of discipline came when I was in a firefight in Iraq for several hours. As lead Master Gunnery Sergeant, I had to make the decision that our soldiers would not retrieve one of our own who had been hit because we would have had a higher number of causalities on our team. It was an impact in my own life, not to mention the soldiers with whom I fought, but even though the outcome caused one death, from that critical decision, we avoided a slew of others.
I’ve personally been hit twice when serving in the Marines while fighting in Iraq. As a result, I received 2 Purple Hearts. After I was wounded in the war, it changed my life forever. I’m a very different person than I used to be before the war. I love life and respect God’s gift of life. That’s who I am. However, even though I left the war zone, the war never left me. It is a remembrance of what I have done to serve this country.
I served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 22 years as a Sergeant Major E-9. I served the U.S. all over the world, including Iraq four different times and Afghanistan 5 times. I operated as a drill instructor for 6 years. After completing 22 years, it was time for me to retire and hand pass the torch to my son. I retired E-9 Master Gunnery Sergeant, the highest rank as an enlisted personnel.
My goal as a Marine was this: I am bound by duty to God, country, and my fellow Marines to execute the demands of my position, to and beyond what I believe to be the limits of my capabilities; I will be true to myself, and my fellow Marines, and equitable in my dealing with every man. This is what I did. This is where I truly am even today. I would not trade my life experiences for anything in this world, not even war. I have no regrets.
For those dealing with PTSD, those veterans who have served, and those currently serving in the military, give me a call and I can help you through your issues.