United States Navy
I left high school to join the Navy in 1996, to create different opportunities for myself. I grew up an Army brat, so joining the Navy was almost an act of rebellion. At 17, I went to Great Lakes, Ill., for basic training, and then to Orlando, Fla., for Electrician’s Mate (Nuclear Field) “A” school and Nuclear Power School. I was later stationed in the Mediterranean, on an archipelago on the North Western tip of Sardinia on the USS Simon Lake (AS-33) where I worked in Engineering and assisted in the replenishment and repair of nuclear-powered submarines. My time in the Navy taught me perseverance and competence, determination and patience, and gave me the heart to push through the impossible.