Service Array:
Individual Skill Development and Enhancement

I grew up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, until I was 10 years old, at which time I moved to Colfax, Wisconsin, with my father, stepmother, and 3 siblings. I lived in Colfax until I was 17, at which time we moved back to Eau Claire.

When I was 8 years old, I went through arguably one of the toughest times I have ever experienced. In 2002, my mother passed away in front of me and my older brother while my father and oldest brother were up north hunting.

After my mother’s passing, my relationships with my siblings and parents deteriorated significantly. My father and I came to daily screaming matches as well as physical altercations, while my stepmother was refusing to come home and was threatening to divorce my father.

Reflecting on that time, I do not blame my parents for anything that happened between us. I was a pathological liar, I refused to obey the simplest of house rules, and I had a habit of hiding my ADHD medications where my toddler sisters could find them. All this culminated in my parents and I barely speaking during my senior year of high school, which I graduated with the minimum passable GPA.

When I graduated, I left home and lived in Warrens, Wisconsin, and Mountain View, California, to find my place in the world. In 2012, I returned to Eau Claire, attended CVTC, and worked the night shift at Menards Distribution Center. After doing that for three months, I decided I needed to make a serious change, so I joined the military.

I attended Infantry One Station Unit Training (OSUT) located at Fort Benning, Georgia, in the spring of 2013. After OSUT, I returned to Wisconsin and did my monthly service in the Wisconsin National Guard, where I drilled out of New Richmond Wisconsin. In the summer of 2014, I made the choice to transfer from the National Guard to Active Duty. From August 2014 to July 2017, I was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. During this time, I deployed to Afghanistan from the summer of 2016 to the spring of 2017.

When my contract was completed, I transferred back to the Wisconsin National Guard, where I drilled out of Menomonie, Wisconsin. I started my Undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Stout during this time.

In the summer of 2019, my unit, now based in River Falls, Wisconsin, was activated, and we deployed to Afghanistan in the fall of 2019. We were deployed during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we returned home in the late summer of 2020.

In 2021, I made one of the hardest decisions I have had to make, and I ended my military service. Between January 2021 and February 2022, I spiraled into an extremely dark and lonely place. I was “coping” with my PTSD by consuming an embarrassing amount of alcohol daily.

Since early 2022, I have received virtual therapy sessions through the VA. I am working toward my Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of Marquette.

During my short stint on Earth, I have learned that not all wounds are visible and that is what drives me. I wanted to join this amazing organization so I could serve others and help them develop, refine, and implement a variety of skills to better there lives.