Happy Memorial Day!

First, I would like to say Thank You from the bottom of my heart to all who have served or are currently serving. We are truly blessed to live in this country and have the freedoms we have, and we owe it all to you. Thank you!

Memorial Day was fun and humbling this year. My wife and I were able to volunteer to put out flags around the Redlands area. It was wonderful to work along side such dedicated members of the Lyons Club. It is beautiful to see so many flags up as you go street by street.

Along with my Thanks to all of the men and women who have served or are currently serving. I would also love to say a special thanks to Dustin. Many of you have gotten to know him through various jobs he has helped me with, but you might not know that he is also a Veteran. So with that being said, I thought it would be fun to have a little getting to know you section on Dustin and his past service.

What motivated you to join the Military?

“[I] was wanting more out of life and was going no where with what I was doing and my living habits. I was working in the recruiters building and each force was asking me if I have ever considered joining the branch. Navy, I said no. Marines, I said no. Air Force, same thing; I said no. Well the Army asked, I said if I ever did join one, it would be the Army. Later that night, I stopped in after work and got the whole spill from them and thought about it. I asked my parents what they thought and if they would have told me no, I never would [have] joined. They both liked the idea and was for it. That is until my first deployment of course.”

Tell me a little about your time at bootcamp.

“Boot camp was stressful, but it was meant to be that [way]. I remember trying to go through bootcamp with the drill sergeants not knowing my name, fly low key per say. While getting mail for the first time, one of my drill sergeants recognized where I was from and later informed me his parents live in Montrose. So my flying low key just went out the window. I had tough but amazing drill sergeants.”

Where did you serve the majority of time in service?

“[A] majority of my 6 years [and] 10 months [of] active duty was at Fort hood, Texas. 26 months of deployment time with two of them. One being a year and the other being 14 months.”

Tell me a funny story you experienced that could only happen in the military.

“Well a couple of buddies from all rankings, we were crazy bored in the motor pool. All the work was done and it was hot in Afghanistan and one mechanic thought it would be awesome to spray off a driver with an expired fire extinguisher, Oh, he covered him good. It was funny, he came out white, clothes where white, face was white. Good times, good times”

How did (does) your military experience affect your life today?

“Well it affects a lot more then people see or [I] let people see. My girlfriend really gets to [see] more, like laying in bed almost about to fall to sleep and the next door neighbor lets his spa cover drop. [With] the sound it makes, I sit up right almost every single time and my amazing girlfriend [says] “babe it’s just [the] spa cover, go back to bed.” And I’ll lay down and fall back to sleep pretty quick. Fireworks do and don’t bother me if I know 100% sure that is what it is.  I look at life a little different then most now, I think. I wake up feeling blessed and have a purpose on this earth, just picking the brain of God to figure out what that is, but I’m thankful I’m alive. I’m thankful I get to go to work everyday and help change people’s lives by making their homes theirs. I’m thankful I met a wonderful woman that understands my PTSD moments and knows exactly how to calm me down. I’m truly blessed for the time I was in and got to spend with some amazing heroes. It’s a bond between brothers of arms and we may not talk for years, centuries, but if one of my buddies needs me, I got his six.”

Thank you, Dustin! Not only for your service but also for everything you do working along side me every day. It is an honor to know you.

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