As a dad, I felt a call to be better. As a husband I heard a call to be better, and as a patriot I couldn’t ignore the call to do better. So I started looking, high and low, for a cause. I looked at the UN, never heard back from that application, I looked at politicians running for office in Colorado that I could get behind, I looked so much that I lost my heart and felt nothing but a deafening call to be, what, better? My depression and anxiety was giving me a run for my money, I was having panic attacks in my car on the way to work. One evening I read my emails and one said, “ Hey, finish your application please. We think you’d be a good fit for this position.” So I jumped up in my kitchen and let out a squeal. The bird squawked at me, my dog was on alert and my wife looked at me from across the table like I was crazy. My heart was racing as I finished the last bit. A few days later I was having interviews for Montana and Colorado, I had this amazing opportunity at my feet. I moved before I received the offer, in fact I was leaving Colorado Springs the morning Lana sent it to me. My response was a picture of the UHaul. I fell in love with Missoula just reading about it, I had to do something different and had several interviews lined up.
The best part of all of this is that I’m here right now, getting things done. I am able to be better as a dad, as a husband and do better as a patriot. I grew up learning to love my country, not just the land, constitution, flag or consumerism but the people. We are all connected to one another. We all have a stake in what is happening. I was never able to serve my country the way my dad, his dad and his dad, so on and so forth did; but this is my way and my path. It’s narrow right now but at the end of it are endless possibilities. What is giving my heart and mind a rest is knowing that what I’m doing here matters. Being a Leader, taking a huge cut in pay and dragging my family over a thousand miles was worth it. I’m making a difference, I’m proud to be a part of something larger than myself and to push it forward. I appreciate being able to show my children at an early age what service is. I also serve in a very cool host site and have felt like a kid in a candy shop the whole time.
I think the point here is that this service has helped me take care of not only my adopted community of Missoula, but also myself and my family. The service is the true reward.