”I just moved here from Florida with my two girls. I am from Oklahoma. The oil field was a toxic environment, long hours, and time away from my daughters. Bullying and hazing is a big deal in the oil fields and I didn’t like that. I like to build people up and encourage them. The tattoo represents the fact that the oil fields gave me a chance to provide something for my daughters that I wouldn’t have been able to. At the time, I didn’t have a college education. Being from Oklahoma, if you aren’t educated, the oil fields are the place to go. A lot of young men cut their teeth there. I didn’t like it, but it served a purpose. The heart on the oil rig tattoo represents my family.
I went through hard times in my life. PTSD and losing friends. PTSD was from military service and childhood. I have learned to eulogize my past and see my future. My stepdad tried to kill himself and that started a cycle of drugs with my mom. He left and she started working in bars and hitting drugs hard. I was about eight years old. She dated violent men, many were criminals. We were living motel to motel. I was feeding my younger brother and sister by doing odd jobs and earning money for school. I set trout lines to catch fish to feed us. By then, I was 11, and my brother and sister were eight and five. One night, my mom and her boyfriend started fighting. I thought he was going to choke her. I had been cleaning catfish and used the fillet knife on him. The cops took me. My mom was so strung out she couldn’t do anything. I went before the judge. Eventually, I was released and split my time between family members. I raised horses and went hunting and fishing. I always knew I wanted to a U.S. Marine because my great uncle was a Marine. It gave me a chance to get the hell out of where i was. To see the world and help people. I went to Iraq twice. I lost a lot of friends there and was wounded myself. It was hard to reconcile losing friends and taking a life. We got into a firefight and were ambushed. We couldn’t get out, and a guy pointed his weapon at my friend. I remember firing my weapon three times and hit what I was aiming at. Then gave lifesaving aid to someone trying to kill us.
I have been blessed. I have custody of my daughters and don’t want to pass the trials in my life down to them. I am passionate and deeply empathize with people. Life has taught me a lot of lessons. I want to leave a legacy and have an impact on the people here after me. I want to help my daughters succeed and grow up better than I did.”