I was born on 25 November 1977, at March Air Force Base, near Riverside, California. By the time I was ten years old, I’d lived in California, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Texas, and Germany, where I attended Baumholder American High School, located on the U.S. Army base there. While living overseas, I took the opportunity to travel throughout Europe and was an eyewitness to many historic events in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I transferred to Ames High School in Ames, Iowa, for my Senior year of high school, where I graduated in 1996.
From there, I enrolled at Fullerton College, in Fullerton, California, and shared an apartment with my older brother, who was attending California State University, Fullerton. I attended the college for four years, changing my major frequently before settling on Journalism in 1999. That same year, I became a Copy Editor for the San Gabriel Valley News Group, producing three daily newspapers: the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the Whittier Daily News, and the Pasadena Star-News. In 2000, I transferred to Iowa State University and an unfortunately short-lived position with the Ames Tribune. Unable to obtain an ROTC scholarship and bouncing from one dead-end part-time job to another, I dropped out of school and enlisted in the Air Force.
I spent six months in training; two months of Basic Training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, and four months of technical training at Ft. Leonard Wood, near Rolla, Missouri. I served on active duty for six years, specializing in Emergency Management, and was stationed at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada, for four years, and at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, for one and a half years. I also spent three months in the Middle East during the invasion of Iraq, when I deployed with an airborne combat engineer team attached to the 1st Expeditionary RED HORSE Squadron. The team was sent in to repair the runway at Baghdad International Airport shortly after its capture by U.S. forces in April 2003. While on active duty, I responded to more than a dozen aircraft crashes, two biological incidents, and numerous HAZMAT and suspicious package incidents.
I left active duty in November 2007. I returned to Fullerton College, and subsequently transferred to California State University, Fullerton. I work as an Instructional Assistant Paraprofessional for Special Education at Valley High School in Santa Ana, California, as well as at Cal State Fullerton, where I’m the webmaster for Veterans Student Services. I hold Associate’s degrees in Emergency Management and Journalism, and a Bachelor’s degree in History.
I’m the first person in my family to earn Eagle Scout and I enjoy camping and the outdoors. I’m also a bit of a geek (ok, a lot of a geek) and I’m also into video games, tabletop games, comics, science fiction, and computers.