Why Joining the Army Changed my Life

That’s me out front carrying our company’s guidon. Flashback almost 15 years and you’ll find an enthusiastic, but troubled, 20-year-old who was confused and struggling to get through life. Most of my life, I dealt with family issues that led me to believe I was leading a different lifestyle than my friends. At that age, you’re supposed to begin laying the foundation for what the next 20–40 years of your life should look like. In a perfect world, this feat is challenging enough. Like many though, I had no idea what I wanted to do for the next year, let alone 20. But unlike many, I expressed it differently.

How do you handle precarious life-altering questions? Do you confront them head-on or do you completely ignore them and turn the other cheek? Depending on your answer will dictate what type of life you lead. I found peace and solidarity in the Army’s unique value proposition, “Be All That You Can Be”. Each and every day I’m reminded of why and how the Army has molded me into a go-getter with an insatiable desire to help people and create a better future. In the last week of basic training, our drill sergeant presented us with an Army promotional video to hype us up as we prepared to advance to our next level of training. I would be lying if I told you that there wasn’t one person in the room jacked up on energy ready to save the world.

I realized that I struggled because I wasn’t being challenged and I wasn’t being pushed. When we put ourselves in uncomfortable situations, we unequivocally challenge ourselves to learn new and exciting things and we expand on our capabilities. Currently, I mentor other veterans with business ideas in a program called Veterans Launching Ventures. It’s truly a humbling experience to be able to help other veterans who have struggled as I have and push society forward with their ventures. Just like I do with anyone I work with, I challenge you to put yourself in uncomfortable situations, follow your dreams, carry out your goals, and push our society forward.

Cofounder & CEO of Ribbit | Bunker Labs — Veterans in Residence 2020