Eric was inspired by hearing the stories of his grandfather’s 15 months in a German POW camp. It was his grandfather’s patriotism that motivated Eric to enter the Navy out of high school. He admits to lacking direction at the time, but after his original enlistment, he transferred to the Army and grew into a focused and motivated soldier, husband and father over a 20-year career.
Throughout his career, Eric served numerous overseas deployments and was put in a wide array of assignments. But one experience as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot stands out in his mind. He had been in Afghanistan for just one month in 2004 when Pat Tillman was killed and Eric was mirroring the path of the Blackhawk helicopter that returned him to the main airfield so he could be flown back to the United States. In his career, he has learned that honor and integrity are the two greatest assets an adult can have and he still looks forward to putting on his military uniform every day, ready to serve at a moment’s notice.
Flying and the outdoors have given Eric his greatest joys during his time in the military. He plans to use his master’s degree in wildlife science to transition from military life, eventually becoming a game warden with the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife. He also plans to use his training and education to educate the community, particularly youth, about conserving natural resources.