Struggling Veteran Receives Life Changing Gift | Military Transition
I joined the Marine Corps so that I could get out of Chicago and experience something new. But like most Marines, I ended up getting married to the wrong person. Afterwards, life was a struggle both at work and at home. I was battling actively at two combat deployments and two reserves, as well as battling with my wife at home. Soon I got divorced and got custody of my kids. At that time, it seemed easier to be deployed and face the physical battle as a Marine Corp, rather than face the financial and emotional battle that I was going through at home, as a single father.
After the Marine Corps, the transition to my life was extremely challenging. I was having trouble economically. When I’m deployed for a battle, I have buddies who have got my back. However, at home I’m all alone in the battle, nobody’s got my back on this one. My buddies were not trained to help me at home in fact they were going through the same thing. I was alone dealing with the recent divorce and my financial troubles.
I was working three jobs to support myself and my family. I used to start working at five in the morning as a YMCA lifeguard and work till 8 am, I picked up my son from school, then I went to my second job as a Jiffy Lube technician and then I worked as a server at Olive Garden. I used to buy food for my kids at 60% off from Olive Garden.
What changed me and my circumstances was the gift of entrepreneurship. I was not worried about what was going on in the White House or if the electoral official is doing their job right, I was concerned about what was going on in my house. I had to pay the bills, this week and next month, I had to get my kids admitted to the district school, and I was dealing with PTSD. The gift of entrepreneurship came as a blessing because I was going through depression. When you’re depressed, you’re unable to focus on what you’re supposed to do, today or tomorrow.
After entrepreneurship was broken down to me, I felt like I could control my life now. It was a ray of hope, I wouldn’t have to be dependent on someone else anymore for my salary or entitlements. I finally feel like I have something in my hands. My message to fellow Veterans is that we need to understand the gift of entrepreneurship.