Years of Service: 5 years, US Army Cavalry Scout, 2007-2012
Units: 2nd Infantry Division, 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, Comanche Troop
Stationed: South Korea, Warrior Transition Battalion at Tripler Medical
Degree Seeking: ME, Mechanical Engineer
Q: Why did you join the Army? Growing up, I always thought about the freedoms we have in the United States and had always wanted to serve in the Army. I wanted to make sure those freedoms remained intact for future generations. During a downturn in the economy, I lost my job as an architectural draftsman and decided this was my moment to live that dream I enlisted two weeks later.
Q: What was the best thing about serving in the Army? Graduating boot camp is one moment of my military career that will always stay with me. During my advanced military training, I had an opportune conversation with a commanding officer, despite my name, he quickly realized I am 100% Korean, and had my duty station changed from a location where my talents would not be used to Cavalry Scout in South Korea, something I had always wanted. My time in South Korea was primarily spent doing reconnaissance. The thrill and challenge of attempting to gather intelligence in order to protect your fellow countryman was quite an honor, and something I will not soon forget.
Q: Of all the things you’ve seen around the world, what one thing would you change? This may sound cliché to say, but the honest truth is, the speed with which veterans are treated, specifically with regard to medical care. I know our local Idaho practitioners give us their very best and are incredibly talented, but the policies that bind their timing and way veterans are treated has left so many of our most vulnerable veterans lost, or in transition constantly waiting. Our veterans gave everything for our country and should get the best in medical care, without unnecessary policies causing excellent practitioners to become just as frustrated as the veterans they serve.
Q: What new, civilian career are you working on? I am very close to completing my B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the Micron School of Engineer at Boise State University. I’d love any opportunity to break into the engineering field in Idaho, but even more than that, I’d love to find a way to give back with my degree. I’ve always wanted to create custom motorcycles for amputee veterans, so if I could find a job that allowed me to use my education to build, design, and engineer motorcycles for veterans, that would be amazing.
Q; What has Wyakin done for you? Wow. Where would I be without Wyakin? That is a really hard question to answer. My life would be a lot different. I know this for sure, Wyakin gave me the little pushes along the way to keep encouraging me when I wanted to give up, and I wanted to give up! I have no doubt that without Wyakin, I would not have made it through to this point. I would not be graduating, I wouldn’t have a degree in Mechanical Engineering, I wouldn’t be inches away from finding my dream job, and giving back to those who gave all.