Where did you serve and what did you do?
I am a retired Marine CWO2 and began my career in the USAF.
How are you #StillServing?
Upon retiring, I taught high school as a JROTC Instructor. Last summer, I left the education field and began serving my community through work at the YMCA as a Lifeguard Instructor and Assistant Maintenance Director.
During my time teaching, my wife and I enjoyed working with community youth and felt they needed a safe and healthy place to congregate with friends and family so we purchased the local roller skating rink (now Freedom Roller Rink in Monmouth, IL) so we could be a positive influence on the young people in our community. With the outbreak of COVID-19, my wife was laid off from work and we were asked to close the doors of our business for the benefit of social distancing.
The same thing happened at the YMCA where I currently work so my wife and I found ourselves with some free time. We are friends with a number of healthcare professionals in the community and all are having a very difficult time obtaining medical masks, so at this time we have obtained a large amount of material to sew these masks to provide for those in need in our community.
Why do you do it?
Everything we have done and are doing is because we believe in helping our community meet their needs. In addition to the lessons I learned while on active duty, my graduate degree in emergency management also reinforced the need that disaster management and preparedness always begin and end at the local level. In order for any community to remain strong, we must all be engaged and make our efforts relevant to the current situation no matter how simple or humble.