I joined the U.S. Army as a photojournalist straight out of high school, as I wanted to have some life experience before heading to college. In my role, I was able to travel across the world and take part in a variety of missions - from simulated wartime training to humanitarian. While in the Army, I took college classes and then I used the G.I. Bill to complete my college degree when I left active duty. Because I enjoyed being a military photojournalist so much, I joined a public affairs unit in the California National Guard and eventually attended the California Military Academy, where I was commissioned as a military police officer. My military experience taught me the importance of teamwork, how to sanely deal with stress, and gave me the confidence in myself to know I can survive and thrive in whatever situation comes my way.