This was to steer us away from all the negativity and bad habits that my cousins where involved in. At seventeen, with my parent’s permission, I enlisted into the United States Marine Corps. I served fourteen years of active duty service from 2001-2015. During this time, I completed three combat deployments, two to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. My primary occupational skill was an Ammunition Chief.
My father had made some bad business deals and lost all of the family's money. When I was two years old, my dad went to debtor's prison. A few years later my dad went to the West Indies and never returned. Becoming a soldier, since my family didn't have any money, I saw the military as a great way to get a free education and to have a career. I entered the West Point Military Academy at the age of 18 and graduated in 1829 near the top of the class.
While both of these were very challenging, becoming an officer in the Marine Corps would be the culmination of them. The experience as an Officer in The Corps will be like nothing I’ve ever done. The Marine Corps will fulfill my unquenchable desire to take on this challenge. Marine Corps officers are leaders of leaders.
When I came to Toll Gate High School as a freshman, I wasn 't sure if I wanted to wrestle or not. Some of the upperclassmen kept telling to come out for the wrestling team. I was at a football game for my nephew and some random person came up to me and asked if I was Jorden DaPonte. This random gentleman was Jerry Sabatelli, the Toll Gate Titan wrestling coach. He said I would start varsity as a freshman and I would become better at football.
I felt, I needed to help and inspire my community to stand up against injustice, but I needed to redefined myself through the military and college. The military helped me established a foundation of ownership, which lead me in enrolling in my local community college where I was enlighten about activism and entered numerous organizations to be involved in service.
This is something that I just have to do. When I was coming up, my parents instilled in me the notion that no one can ever take your mind from you. They can kick you, they can call you names, but if you have your education, they can never ever take that from you. Knowledge is the greatest weapon of all.” Adding onto that, he also mentioned that he believes people have a skewed perspective of what they believe wrestlers are.
Death with Dignity Everyone deserves to determine their time of death. Of course under the giving circumstances a terminal illness. This was the case of Brittany Maynard who at the age of 29 was diagnosed with brain cancer. Her cancer consisted of a partial craniotomy and a partial resection of her temporal lobe.
Ever since I can remember, I have always felt a calling to serve my country. One of the reasons for my calling of service has been the influence of my family throughout my childhood. My father was a lieutenant in the Army National Guard prior to being injured and placed a high importance on honor and commitment. In addition, one of my Great Grandfathers was a Marine Captain in the Pacific Theatre during WWII and my other Great Grandfather was seriously injured during the Battle of Guam. As a child, I looked up to my dad and grandparents because I knew that they had taken a stand to protect our country.
I prepared early by joining naval junior reserve officer training corps(NJROTC) my freshman year of highschool. I joined and competed in many activities such as air rifle, armed drill exhibition, chain gang, community service, and orienteering. The unit taught me discipline and how to become a leader. It gave me the advantage I desired to be one step closer to becoming a Marine.
I feel a debt of gratitude to America, and no better way to repay than through military service. I’ve observed that a key objective for the military is the intent to inspire. With an extensive background in family Naval history, my grandfather (Navy 0-5 F6F Hellcat pilot), uncle (Navy 0-5 F-14 pilot), mother (Navy 0-4 Intelligence Officer), and father (Navy 0-4 C-2 Greyhound pilot) have all influenced me to follow the tradition generations old. The aspiration to secure our skies and seas exhilarates me to no end. I want to provide the chance of a valuable and productive life to future posterity, attributes that have been afforded to me.
Eight years ago I walked into a Navy recruiter's office and said, " If I join today, when is the soonest I can go to boot camp? " I did not know what to expect. However I was sure of one thing, and that was that I wanted to join the United States Navy. As those eight years ensued, the Navy began to mold me physically and mentally. Some of the changes I underwent were positive, and others were rather uncouth.
The greatest decision I made in life was to join the United States Navy. I joined the Navy in 1983 and my experiences shaped me in many ways. I went from being a lowly seaman who swept, swabbed, and painted all day to a senior enlisted man who, for 6 hours a day, was in command of a carrier battle group during wartime. In 1988, I made the decision to make a career out of my military service and that choice that makes me the proud veteran I am. I fell in love and made the decision to marry my wonderful wife in 1985 and in 1986; we decided to start a family.
Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is an option. At some points in my life I’ve hated the sport of wrestling. At other I’ve never loved anything more. All in all, wrestling has taught me a lot about myself. When i placed at the state tournament, I learned that no matter where someone comes from they can do big things, if they have the right mindset and the determination.
What I am going to do hopefully soon might amaze some people and bore others. What I want to do is go on a halo flight. Halo is like a flying monkey designed suit for people. I am going to do this by contacting Team Fly Like A Brick. Either they will give me contact info or will contact the flight coach in Skydive Arizona and I will then, depending on price, will give flying a try.
As I sit here after the end of my last wrestling season, I write this essay mostly for myself, reflecting on where my life has gone. Avon Athletics, in specific wrestling, has been there every step of the way. In packets put together by the wrestling head coach, I read about how great the sport of wrestling is from the perspective of a state qualifier. I want to share a different perspective. I want to share the perspective from a wrestler who has lost the passion for the sport he once loved; but also a wrestler who will never regret a single moment of time spent on the mat.