LPM Staff

Glad to serve because … what if I hadn’t?

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Photo courtesy of captain Patrick Camuñez

Years of service: Eleven

Duties: Command infantry and combined armed companies and units of 200-300 soldiers; coordinate employment of infantry at all levels of command in U.S. and multinational operations; develop doctrine, organization and equipment for infantry missions; teach infantry skills at training centers; infantry advisor to other units.

Personal: New Mexico native; degree in Government from New Mexico State University; Juris Doctor degree from Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law; married for seven years to wife, Megan; two sons, Mason and Austin.

Proudest moment: When my soldiers said that they were sad to see me leave, that I had been the best leader they had ever had.

On the job valuable learning experience: What I learned from my military experience is the value of teamwork. My service taught me that, no matter where people came from or how they identified themselves, we could work together.

Funny anecdote: One time on VIP security detail, we were sitting on top of our M2A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle. We heard what we thought were far off gunshots. My gunner yelled, “Get down, sir!”  I replied, “Don’t worry; they’re too far out to hit us.” A moment later, bullets started pinging off the Bradley. I threw myself over the side. “How’s it going down there, little guy?” queried my gunner as he peered down at me.

Why did you decide to pursue this career: I want to be part of something bigger than myself. My work in the National Guard allows me to serve my country and be a part of something I can be proud of.

Balancing service and family: The Army is really good about providing family support services to balance out the frequent and long deployments. Unlike some people who save up years of leave, I always use my leave to spend quality time with my family.

Greatest satisfaction of serving: Knowing that I am making a difference by helping to shape soldiers’ lives.

Final word: Do it! Military life is difficult at times, but the camaraderie is amazing and life-changing. You learn skills not readily available elsewhere. Furthermore, you gain a host of great memories and stories. Sit down and ask yourself, “Do I really want to get to be 50 years old and be asking myself, “What if?”

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