I was born and raised in Fresno, Calif. I am the youngest of three. Ever since I was a kid, my dream was to join the United States Army. Growing up working in the restaurant business, I knew I wanted a career that would make a positive impact on society. When I turned 18, I joined the Army and went to basic training to Fort Knox, Ky., as a 19 Delta Cavalry Scout. I then graduated and had to report to Fort Drum, N.Y., for my first duty station.
On April 4, 2011 we deployed to Afghanistan. I was a mine detector for eight months. The morning of my birthday, November 26, 2011 I felt rejuvenated talking to my family. Four days later on November 30, 2011 my partner and I were clearing a compound and just needed to finish the alley way. When we got to the end of the alley way, the I.E.D went off after my partner tried to uncover it. He lost both his legs above and below the knee, and remained conscious throughout the experience. The blast hit part of my face and I lost consciousness. I lost my left arm and leg, broke my jaw and nose, and lost my four front teeth with the bone and gum. I have a small blind spot on my left eye, and multiple shrapnel damage throughout my body.
Seven years later, I am now married with two boys (Giovanni, age two and Greyson, age one) and we also have six dogs to keep us busy. I recently graduated with a bachelors degree in Psychology and I will be continuing my education to earn my masters degree. I hope to become as a counselor for troubled youth or for combat Veterans.