Freedom has always been of the utmost importance to me. I’m a proud American. To this day, I am disappointed by how often I find myself trying to convince others they ought to cherish their personal freedom. Advocating for a free society has become one of the motivations of my life. It’s a worthy cause!
As a teenager, I resolved to become a criminal defense attorney. After my Bar Mitzvah, I thanked people for my gifts by informing them it would go toward paying for law school. The idea of a fair trial before a person could be deprived of their freedom always seemed evident to me.
It still does.
By 17, I had decided to join the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. My decision was based partly on the fact that I wanted to be among the best trained and most respected people in our country. I was happy to be first in line to defend our country. Also, I wanted to ensure I would be able to pay for college. The G.I. Bill was a life saver.
Knowing I would be one of the smallest guys in the Marine Corps, I trained hard for boot camp. I knew Parris Island would be tough, and I wanted to ensure I would be up for the challenge. Marine Corps Boot Camp changed my life. Although I was a disciplined kid, I didn’t fully understand the Marine Corps’ commitment to discipline and attention to detail. I learned fast and excelled.
While at Parris Island, I learned how to operate a rifle from the best in the world. To this day, all 7.9lbs of the M16A2 service rifle seems like an old friend. I also earned the top score on the physical fitness testing for my series. I was rewarded with a brief phone call home. It seemed like a huge prize. I graduated boot camp with a promotion to private first class. I was off to a great start.
After boot camp, I was shipped off the Camp Lejeune to learn how to operate many vehicles. Given that my plan was law school, I wasn’t so interested in my specific job while in the Marine Corps. Motor transport school was like being paid to have fun with my buddies. Intentionally sinking a 6×6 five-ton military truck in the mud only to use the attached winch and some big tree to rescue it seemed more like a weekend goofing off with my pals than a job.
After a few months, I was back home preparing for college. Once a month, I assembled with a bunch of marines to have a weekend adventure.
When my life took me to Arizona, I hardly knew anyone. However, when I showed up for my Marine Corps weekend in Phoenix in August 1989, I instantly had lots of friends. I remain close to several of those Marines to this day. They are my brothers.
When duty called in 1990, I was required to leave ASU to travel to Saudi Arabia for what was then called, “Desert Shield.” Shortly after arriving in Saudi Arabia, I found myself living in a dirt hole not far from the border of Kuwait. As “Desert Shield” turned into “Desert Storm,” I was ordered to ingest both Anthrax pills and Nerve Agent pills. We also carried gas masks and full body protective suits wherever we went.
As “Desert Shield” turned into “Desert Storm,” I was ordered to ingest both Anthrax pills and Nerve Agent pills. We also carried gas masks and full body protective suits wherever we went.
As it turned out, the Iraqi forces weren’t any match for the Marine Corps. In fairness, the Air Force relentlessly bombed the area to our north for countless days. I’m not sure how much of a force was left by the time the Marine Corps moved into Kuwait City. Indeed, it was clear the enemy forces were happy to surrender.
I recall watching the prisoners of war cower every time a plane flew overhead. To this day, it is a reminder of the horrors of war and how it affects our fellow humans. War isn’t a game. It is the worst of humankind, and we need to be much more vigilant at avoiding it.
Today, I’m committed to running my law firm, The Attorneys For Freedom Law Firm, by incorporating the best of what I learned in the Marine Corps. I employ people of character who display an inner commitment to excellence. Like in the Marine Corps, we operate on the highest level of trust, and we are never complacent. The Marine Corps remains a huge part of my life. It changed me forever for the better.