At The age of 21 I never imagined my life would go in the direction it did. I remember getting ready to leave for Afghanistan and wondering what it would be like over there. You hear all of these different things on the news and from other marines who have been there before but you truly cant understand what its like until you go there for yourself. I am the type of person who enjoys experiencing other cultures and learning as much as I can about where others come from. Growing up in Uniontown, Pennsylvania I was exposed at a young age to different cultures and I found it very intriguing. I think that’s part of what lead me to joining the military, as well as the simple fact I wasn’t a model student or the greatest person before the age of 18. After moving out of my parents house at the age of 15, life started all over for me. They signed over their rights which allowed me to leave and start over fresh with a new atmosphere and outlook on life. I graduated and went off to boot camp, but not before a short stint at Seton Hill University. In those two months at Seton Hill I managed to drink my life away and dig a hole so deep I had no other choice but to leave. 25k in debt, no passing grades, no money, no house, the United States Marine Corps was my saving grace. I went to Parris Island in November of 2007 and never looked back. After graduating boot camp I was sent to Camp Lejeune to be a part of 1st Battalion 8th Marines Weapons Company 81MM Mortar Platoon. My time there was amazing, it was exactly what I needed at that point in my life. I was at a crossroads at the age of 18 and made poor decisions growing up but now is my time to make up for it. My first deployment was to Iraq in 2009, we spent 7 months there providing security for the base as the war in Iraq was basically over by then. After coming home, we quickly found out we were deploying again but this time to Afghanistan. The next 6 months were spent training and getting in the best possible shape for this upcoming tour. Having no idea what to expect we worked as hard as we could, knowing Afghanistan was going to be completely different than Iraq. I remember touching down in Afghanistan, thinking to myself “here we go” and sure enough I couldn’t have imagined what the next 3 months of my life were going to be like. Stay tuned for next weeks post as ill go into more detail about my time in Afghanistan and give you an in depth replay of the day I lost both of my legs.