I am a writer, director, and veteran of the Iraq War. Born and raised on the central California coast, I enlisted in the Army when I turned 21 and served as an Infantry Paratrooper in the renowned 82nd Airborne. In 2010, I was deployed in Operation Unified Response, where I supported the humanitarian and security services after the earthquake that devastated Haiti. The following year, I was deployed to Iraq as an infantryman for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn.
Like many of my peers, I felt ready to take on the world after being honorably discharged in 2015. Unfortunately, the seeds of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder had other plans for me. What I and my fellow paratroopers had experienced overseas was not an easy burden to bear.
I coped as well as I knew how. Like innumerable other service men and women across the nation, I eventually turned to alcohol to quiet what can only be described as "the noise inside my head". After many failed attempts to right the course of my life and become a happy, useful member of society, I finally reached a point of desperation. Not knowing where else to turn, I made the choice to seek treatment—a decision that saved my life.
Now I dedicate my life to helping other veterans in the same position. I am currently enrolled in the screenwriting program at Loyola Marymount University; through my latest project "Firecracker", I hope to give voice to the countless thousands of service men and women who suffer from PTSD and other war-related injuries—while also honoring those who never made it home.