26 04 2011

I never wanted a boring life.

As a result, I ended up in the Navy for six years. While there were certainly long stretches of mind-numbing boredom, on the whole it was as interesting as it was challenging. It may be cliche but I learned a few things about myself along the way. As a Hospital Corpsman, a medic for Marines and sailors alike, I learned that I loved medicine and that I get genuine pleasure from helping people. At the same time, those periods of boredom gave me time to cultivate a love of telling stories that people want to hear. I also learned some valuable skills for life: Namely the importance of showing up to work and following simple instructions.

After basic training I spent six years either training or roaming the globe. I spent a year in San Diego scrubbing toilets and painting the USS Dubuque varying shades of grey. I spent the next two years receiving all manner of medical training. This culminated in a year of laboratory technologist school and three months learning to provide medical care to Marines in combat. Training completed I left for two years to Okinawa, Japan. There, I was assigned to a Marine logistic unit where I juggled my responsibilities as a laboratory technician with that of an emergency medical technician. The base I was stationed on was relatively remote but I had a room with a view and plenty of time to write. During that time I deployed on a four month humanitarian mission. Aboard the USS Peleliu I helped bring medical aid to remote areas of the Pacific Rim. I ate chili crab in Singapore, pho in Vietnam and walked on the perfect beach. I also met my fiance who, at the time, was a civilian volunteer aboard the ship. My final year was spent in Seattle, Washington working aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln. The 16-hour workdays I endured were definitely offset but how awesome the city of Seattle is.

At the behest of my fiance I left military service last year. I followed her to Arizona where she is attending dental school and I enrolled at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. Journalism is obviously a vast change from what I did in the military. But then again, I never wanted a boring life.




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