Brian Taghadossi, Graduated Sentinel
Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army
Juris Doctorate at University of the Pacific – McGeorge School of Law
After attempting college straight out of high school and realizing he wasn’t ready for it, Brian dropped out and quit his job. Feeling lost and having little to no direction in his life, he made the choice to join the military with minimal expectations of how it would affect his life outside of having to get used to being away from family and friends and getting yelled at. During his 6 years of active service, Brian deployed twice, once to Kuwait and once to Iraq. It was the Iraq deployment that would result in the development of combat-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from the almost daily rocket and mortar attacks, blasts from IEDs and vehicle-based IEDs, as well as small arms engagement with insurgents. Unfortunately, like many other service members, Brian’s PTSD and struggles with mental health after that deployment went untreated for a long time. Seeking both inpatient and outpatient therapy has helped tremendously as well as nurturing the relationships in his life that were supportive and encouragingto rebuilda strong support system. Throughout this experience, Brian has learned how resilient he is and is proud of himself for continuing to fight and push forward despite multiple difficult situations, including facing homelessness at one point.
During his journey to find himself and work on his well-being, Brian began to evaluate potential careers and discovered that he has a true passion for the law and helping those in need. This led him to pursue a Juris Doctor degree, making him the first in his family to pursue higher education. It was through the support received at the Martinez Veterans Affairs that he first learned of Sentinels of Freedom and how we support veterans like him. The opportunity to apply could not have come at a better time, Brian applied for the SoF Bridge for Education Program and was accepted during the Fall 2020 cohort giving him the security he needed to focus on law school. Sentinels of Freedom proudly supported Brian through the completion of his Juris Doctor with a monthly financial subsidy to offset the cost of living, financial counseling, resume building, career counseling, networking opportunities, mentor connections, and the personalized support of a case manager throughout his program. During his time in school, Brian volunteered for multiple organizations and assisted with veterans’ court, MOOT court, and participated in several internships with the Public Defender’s Office, taking advantage of any experience he could gain and build his network while in school.
Brian completed his law degree in May 2023 and is currently studying to take his BAR exam during the summer. His goals are to use his degree and experience to work either within the juvenile court system helping youth or within the veteran court system helping other veterans who struggled with their post-military transition. Sentinels of Freedom is proud to call Brian a Sentinel and looks forward to seeing where his promising career takes him!
“I truly appreciate the continued support that I’ve received from SoF. It has helped me immeasurably.Thank you so much for all that you’ve done for me!”