“I did three years of college and was burned out. I couldn’t afford it anymore. I joined the Army for four years to pay for school. I was stationed in Alaska for field training. I am going to med school to be a pediatric surgeon. I work right now as an EMS unit manager and I am staying here until med school begins. I was sick when I was a kid and had liver issues. My pediatrician took such good care of me. I want to give back the care that I received. When I was a kid I also wanted to be a zookeeper. Steve Irwin is still one of my heroes. His message was to protect everything and live together. I volunteer at a homeless shelter and everyone works together to rebuild lives and communities.
Alaska is the weirdest community you could be a part of. It is so welcoming as long as you aren’t doing something stupid. I once broke down on the side of the road and 18 cars pulled over before the tow truck got there. Someone brought me McDonalds while I waited. The culture is family and respecting the elders. And everything here can eat you.
I am transgender. I took a while to realize it, but it all made sense when I understood. I have been on hormones for three years and have had facial renovation surgery. Other people try to control what you can do with your body, but every day that gets better. When I first came out, the military was the safest place for me. I had more acceptance there than from some of my family.”