Born To Lead. Read Patrick's Story.
"I was born on November 11th on Veterans Day, in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, NY to two young teenage high school immigrants. Growing up my mother raised us with the help of my grandmother. They both strived to give my sisters and I the best quality of life possible. But as college approached and my mom was just making ends meet, sending me to college was going to be challenging.
I came from a family filled with military and civil service backgrounds, so serving was something I knew first hand. I can’t say that I was a patriotic person, but what I can say is I needed an opportunity to help myself and better family situation. Being influenced by a few family members, I decided to enlist into the U.S. Army at the age of 18.
Scared and not knowing what to expect I went to Boot Camp and Advance Individual Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. My military occupational specialty was Administrative Specialist. I figured the job selection would keep me out of harms way. It was difficult being away from a family setting that was very close and nurturing to traveling the world with strangers.
During my eight years of service I was stationed at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment. I then re-enlisted and was sent to Germany for four years and assigned to the 1st Infantry, 6th Field Artillery Regiment. I’ve also had a few short tours to Kuwait, Kosovo, and a year in Iraq. The experience was life changing. Living outside of United States and combat experience would definitely give you a broader perspective of life and how we miss opportunities and take things for granted in America.
One of my many struggles in the military and in life was not wanting to be a leader. It was something that came naturally but I never wanted to be responsible for someone else’s actions or wellbeing. Questioning authority and being outspoken landed me into a lot of unwarranted situations. My influence on my peers and posture of authority was something most found threatening. Struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after exiting the military and losing my grandmother had a major effect on me for a couple of years but with the love, support of my family and God’s Grace, I was able to over come it.
Serving in the military helped me to think out the box and to be prepared for the unexpected. It allowed me to meet my wife oversees to whom I’ve been married to for 14 years. We were granted all expense paid college education for our service. I went to school full time while working full time at one of the top specialized high schools in Brooklyn, NY. I earned my Bachelors degree in Psychology at Medgar Evers College.
Serving in the military help to mold me to who I am today. Like I told many students graduating high school and young adults who can’t afford college or who’s not certain of what they want in life. I recommend the military for the life experience and great benefits. But choosing a job in a field that can be used in the civilian world is key."