I was born and raised in Gamboa, a small town in Panama.
My father was a Marine corp sergeant who went to Vietnam for 3 tours. My uncle was a pilot for the ships that transferred through the canal.
After the military, my father worked as a welder, and later became a tugboat captain. I lived in Panama until I graduated high school.
Most of my friends had parents in the military as well, and what always stood out to me was how often they would move.
Once I graduated high school, I joined the navy, the best thing that could happen to a kid who didn’t get very good grades. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the military was a great adventure!
I went to boot camp in San Diego, and was assigned the duty of becoming a plane captain. I was sent to Oak Harbor, Washington to do training to fly the A-6 Intruder. There, I was assigned to squadron VA-115, aboard the USS Midway, stationed in Japan.
Arriving in Japan was my first greatest life lesson: “I’m never going to be broke again.” I arrived on a commercial flight to Narita Airport, Japan, and had no way to get to the base or any supply of money to buy food for several days. Japan, which has now come to be one of my favorite countries in the world, was completely foreign to me.
Somehow, some random natives helped me find my way to the American base in Atsugi, Japan. I reported for duty, but had to come to the realization that food was not free anymore.
After 4 days, I finally got a loan from the Red Cross for 100 dollars. I learned the value of a dollar and the value of relationships.
Once I moved back to the states I settled in Gig Harbor. I have been building and remodeling homes ever since. Having started building homes in the 90s, it has been a rewarding process.
Arguably, the most significant reward related to construction careers is the overall sense of pride and accomplishment. I feel this strongly when working on projects I feel good about.
Those who work in construction reap many benefits. To name a few – enhanced camaraderie, job security, and advancement opportunities that are available to them.
There are new and unique opportunities each day. The industry is constantly challenging the status quo with technological advancements. It’s an absolutely amazing feeling to be part of building incredible projects and positively impacting communities.