I was born in Houston, TX. After high school, I was accepted to Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and pursued an engineering degree for one year before joining the U.S. Army on November 19, 1987.
I served in the 75th Ranger Regiment from 1988-1991 where I attended Ranger School. In 1989, I parachuted during Operation Just Cause in Panama.
In 1991, I was selected to attend the Special Forces Qualification Course. After completing the course, I served as a Green Beret in the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) for most of the rest of my career.
During my career, I served in Afghanistan, Kuwait, and deployed multiple times to South America and Africa. I retired with the rank of Sergeant Major in May 2019.
While I was in the Army I earned my BA in American History and my MFA in Creative Writing, and my goal after I retired was to become a full time author and editor.
The first thing that happened is I was diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) six months before I separated, resulting from injuries I had sustained almost ten years ago. This diagnoses happened just as I was finishing my medical exams for U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and I was afraid that I wouldn’t get all my TBI exams and treatment done before I separated from the Army. Fortunately, I my medical staff was awesome, and within a week I had an appointment at a Poly-trauma Clinic in San Antonio, Texas. I spent two weeks there, and when I left I felt better than I had in almost ten years. I decided to write a book about this, about my diagnosis and treatment, because I wanted to make sure that information was available to any other Service Member. And hopefully, another Service Member could get treated sooner than I. The book is called Traumatic Brain Injury, the Military, and You and is available for free on Amazon Kindle Unlimited.
As I was planning my return to the United States from Italy, where I was stationed, I was reminded that the military wouldn’t pay for my dogs to return. It was my responsibility to pay for and coordinate for the transportation of my dogs. As I was trying to figure that out, I realized there were a lot of options, some more expensive and some more complicated. I asked my peers and they each had a different story. So, I decided to write a book about how to PCS Your Pets Overseas. I read articles describing Service members paying more than $10,000 to send their pets to their next duty station. I wanted to share all the information I had researched about sending pets overseas with other Service Members. The book should be published by the end of May 2019. A lot of the information in the book are on my blog here.
Lastly, I realized that as I was transitioning out of the Army that separating from the Army would be a huge change for me and I researched all of the things that I didn’t know. The base transition services offered a lot of help, but I saw gaps in their training as well. I started to blog about the information and questions I had so I could share with my fellow Service Members. I wanted to discuss the different retirement hurdles I was having to overcome and share them in the hope that other people’s separation is that much easier. I plan on putting this blog into a book as well, hopefully to be released by August 2019.
And when I’m not writing and blogging, I’ll be retiring.