I graduated from McLean High School in 1989 and, following in my father’s footsteps, decided to study economics in college. I enrolled in the College of William & Mary and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Economics in 1993, part of the 300th centennial class.
It was during my junior and senior years in college that the idea of public service grew in me. This nation, which had given to my parents a home, and had provided for me in every material and mental aspect, merited my service and sacrifice. I chose to eschew the other offers of employment I had after graduation and to join the military. 1993 was the height of the drawdown. We had won the Cold War, the Soviet Union was gone. It was the time of the “peace dividend” and a reduction in military spending such that ROTC graduates were being turned away from active service. I was nonetheless determined to serve and decided to enlist rather than wait and hope for an officer slot opening.
I served in the military for four years, 1993 to 1997. In that time I was assigned to the 101st Air Assault Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. There I served with the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment (Strike Force) and 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment (Rakkasans). I spent a year in South Korea with 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment (Currahee) at Camp Greaves, just 2 kilometers from the demilitarized zone and North Korea. In late 1996, I was deployed with the Rakkasans to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in response to the Khobar Tower bombings.
The time I spent on Freedom’s borders, looking across barbed wire at men with guns, who hate us, impressed itself strongly on me. Never again would I take our liberties for granted. I have come to think more and more on our abuse of the word “rights” and our forgetfulness with the word “duties”. To be a free citizen of a great Republic is to enjoy one, but only at the cost of bearing the other manfully. Yet who today volunteers for service in our military?
I decided to pursue a post-graduate degree and was accepted at the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University. Not only is this one of the top business programs in the nation, but it was a chance to return home with my family after 8 years of absence in study and under arms. I graduated in 1999 with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and decided to travel through North Africa and the Middle East after graduation.
I accepted a position at Capital One upon returning home, and worked in the Hispanic business as a Business Analyst. From January 2000 to 2003, I lived and worked in Tampa, Florida. In mid-2003, I returned to Northern Virginia to work in the International Markets group.
Marta and I met in 2001 when we both worked at Capital One. After she went back to her home country I followed her and moved to Spain in January of 2004. We married in 2008 and have two children, Enrique and Virginia. In Spain, I started two businesses. One, a toy store, failed; the other, as an independent consultant, succeeded. In 2008, I accepted a position at a multinational financial services firm, where I still work.