My story is not about overcoming a physical limitations like being in BUDS, or like David Goggins story of the first 100 mile race. It isn’t about being successful in business or about motivating fellow veterans. My story starts in 2003 when I got out of Active duty in the Marine Corps. In 4 years I had deployed to be the part of invasion force of both Afghanistan in 2001, and Iraq in 2003. After becoming a civilian again I tried college. 1 semester of school and I flunked every course but 1. So I tried tech school. Again I did very poorly. I wanted to become certified as a police officer so I signed up again. I had close friends that helped and motivated me and I was able to graduate in 2008. The following Monday I started the police academy. I was at the top of my class and almost didn’t get to take the final due to over sleeping. I pleaded with then to allow me to take the test which they then allowed. I passed with a 98%. The following 3 years I applied for jobs with rejections at every point. While I was minimally employed I decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree and continue applying for law enforcement jobs. While in the university, I joined ROTC and decided to go back to active duty following graduation. I missed the assessions cut off by .05 GPA points. To the present, I’ve had numerous jobs that I’ve been fired from, my marriage was in pieces and I was even failing at becoming a father as my wife and I had been trying to have kids for 3 years.
So the point at which I decided not to quit was when I was sitting on the back porch with an immaculate .45 and a magazine with 1 round. I had a glass of my favorite whiskey and was trying to know that everyone else would be better without me being a constant failure and being a disappointment in nearly every aspect of my life. I was crying and knew that it wouldn’t hurt and would be over quickly. All I had to do was pull the trigger. I was tires of being mediocre at best. I was tired of always just missing it. And when I finished my glass, I put the pistol to my head and tried to have the courage to pull the trigger. I couldn’t do it. I had even failed at that. So I decided that no matter what happened in life, I wasn’t going to quit. People come and go. Jobs change. But I wasn’t going to quit. Beat me up, knock me down and I get backup. I racked the slide and emptied the pistol. I decided then that no matter who I failed, or came up second best to, I couldn’t give up. Guys like Marcus Lattrel, Mat Best and Nick Palmischan were inspirations to me and gave me something to laugh at and drive towards their example.
Thank you. And let this be a reminder to you, it doesn’t matter the circumstance, it the fire in your soul that gets you through hard times.