Current Sentinel, Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps
Bachelor of Science in Applied Science in Criminal Justice/Master of Science in Criminal Justice, Youngstown State University
Adam was a junior in High School when 9/11 happened and shortly thereafter, he enlisted in the Marine Corps, feeling the call to serve and fight for his nation after such a horrific event. He has always had a mentality of not wanting to settle for anything but the best, and thus he chose the Marine Corps over the other branches of the military. Adam was the first person in his family to serve in the armed forces and it was hard on his family when he enlisted knowing he would soon be going overseas and facing dangerous situations.
Adam became a machine gunner and left for Iraq after completing boot camp and school, ready to face whatever lay ahead of him and his brothers and sisters in arms. While there, Adam was involved in an incident where he took shrapnel from enemy mortar explosions to his neck and both legs. His Achilles tendon was cut in two places and his right anterior tibialis was severed. He was medically evacuated to receive treatment for his injuries and was later awarded a Purple Heart for his actions.
Since leaving active duty, Adam has worked on his recovery and learned what to expect and the new limitations of his physical injuries, but his biggest struggle to overcome has been the mental injuries. It has taken time, but Adam put a lot of work into his rehabilitation and therapies to where he is now in a good place and able to manage and recognize his triggers. He primarily credits this to his support system of family and friends that have stuck with him through it all.
Adam had a goal as a young child to become a Special Agent for the FBI and decided it was time to pursue that with his Marine Corps background and working on a degree in Criminal Justice will help him achieve this dream. It was during a hike in Camino De Santiago with a veteran organization that he met Sentinel Mike Gonzales whom he spent a few weeks getting to know. Mike encouraged Adam to apply to Sentinels of Freedom after Adam had expressed his goals and that he was in school. Adam was accepted to Sentinels of Freedom in Spring 2022 while he pursued a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at Youngstown State University and graduated in December 2022 before immediately starting a master’s degree. Since his acceptance, SoF has proudly supported him with a financial subsidy to help offset his cost of living, Adam has been paired with a graduated sentinel that currently works in federal law enforcement for a mentoring relationship, networking opportunities, resume-building, financial planning, and has taken advantage of SoF partnership with Udemy for continued education.
Adam and his wife, Sarah, live in Ohio with their 2-year-old son. Sarah is an ultrasound tech while Adam pursues school and is a stay-at-home dad to their son. They are happy to be settled close to family so they can be involved in their son’s life, and they have a good support system.
“SoF is truly an incredible organization that provides life-changing resources for the betterment of the Sentinels in the program. I will forever be grateful to be a part of this organization.”