Where did you serve and what did you do?
I am the current speech writer for the DISA-JFHQ-DODIN Director. I Served 23 years on active duty, deploying three times to Iraq, and four times to Afghanistan in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom, Resolute Support, and Freedom Sentinel. In between combat tours in the Central Command area of operations, I also deployed several times throughout the Southern Command area of operations, reporting on Special Operations Foreign Internal Defense mission objectives to greatly enhance interoperability and security with over 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. I honorably retired as a Master Sergeant in 2019.
Rejoining the workforce with the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C., I served as a Communications Specialist, expertly communicating across the enterprise the latest in facilities-based upgrades and construction projects throughout the National Capital Region. I masterfully updated multiple internal and external department sites, introduced and integrated QR-Codes and hyperlinked text, virtually making indispensable information accessible across digital platforms. Throughout the initial two years of the global pandemic (COVID-19), I researched, gathered, produced, coordinated, and delivered the latest federal safety guidelines and ever-changing prevention methods the Department adopted, creating a return to workplace welcome packet that included hyperlinked photos depicting change and safety measures, with contact information at the touch of your screen.
I held numerous positions in the Public Affairs and broadcast communications fields such as TV and Radio News anchor and producer (American Forces Network-Europe), Public Affairs program supervisor and operations manager (Logistics and Special Operations Commands), and finally, ministerial level public affairs and strategic communications advisor and director (Afghanistan, South/Central Latin America).
How are you #StillServing?
Wherever and whenever possible, I use my own platform on LinkedIn with over 500 connections in my Network to spread the word on initiatives like the PACT ACT. Additionally, whenever there is an event like Rolling Thunder or Ride to Remember, I actively participate and seize every opportunity to engage with media or local vendors and community members to spread the word on VFW initiatives aimed at helping soldiers in transition, veterans, and the spouses/children of deceased veterans. Throughout my community, I’ll post printed materials I gained through VFW’s on-line pages to generate larger awareness in my community, and the surrounding areas. When it came to the PACT ACT, I made it a point to inform every veteran I worked with at DHS and now DISA by starting the conversation with “hey brother/sister, did you hear about the PACT ACT and VFW’s efforts to secure aid for those of us exposed to airborne toxins while deployed? No? Well let me share with you the following link. Now go email your congressman and let them know how you feel!” That entire exchange took about 5-10 minutes of my time and sometimes it was as short as an elevator speech.
Why do you do it?
Because helping my fellow American veteran is the Christian thing to do. Knowing people are in dire need for assistance and being able to point them in the right direction for relief gives me a sense of purpose, and it also feels good to see someone put the pieces of their life together and go forward with vigor, pride and hope.