Growing up in a small town in Northern California, I did not have many options after high school. My parents were on the brink of a separation my senior year, leaving me feeling like I needed to disappear. My father’s influence as an Army veteran of the Korean and Vietnam Wars made my choice to enlist fairly painless.
I devoted twenty-four years of my life to the military. My first five years were in the Army; the remainder of my time was in the Air Force. Most of my career was spent in a Special Duty Assignment as a Recruiter. I retired from the Air Force in October 2006.
In October 2007 I began working for the Department of Veteran Affairs as a Veteran Service Representative (VSR). In this position, I had the honor of advocating for our Very Seriously Injured Veterans from the most recent war on terror. Working with gravely wounded Veterans showed me how my experience gained from working for the VA could make a huge difference in the lives of our Veterans and their families.
After three years as a VSR, I became a member of the Rating Board, which I viewed as an opportunity to learn even more about how to better serve our Veterans. I spent five years as a Rating Specialist before making the transition to management as an Assistant Coach with the Veterans Benefits Administration.
I am the supervisor for the Development Team at the new Sacramento Satellite Office of the Oakland Regional Office. As the face of the VA, the staff of Public Contact works on the frontline, advocating for Veterans and their families. Personally, I see my entire life as a dress rehearsal for what I am doing today. I come to work every day with a smile on my face because I have the honor of serving those who have served—our Veterans.