David enlisted in the Marine Corps as a peace-time volunteer in August 2001, just five weeks before the attacks of 9/11, out of a sense of duty to serve his fellow Americans. He has great respect for those who answered the call to serve after 9/11, but also takes great pride in being a peace-time volunteer.
He served more than 10 years and was deployed multiple times as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. His military service helped shape the man he is today and taught him that there is always another mission ahead and that there is never an end to the good to be done.
David’s passion is urban geography, the study of the social processes and government policies that affect human populations in urban settings. He says that will be the focus of his degree and that of his post-graduate pursuits. He considers himself a servant to the city of Baltimore and plans to pursue a career path that will allow him to address the issues that affect quality of life there. He says poverty and blight have resulted in the exodus of about 400,000 people from the city and he wants to help create a sustainable environment to bring people back to the city he loves.
Already, he volunteers as executive director for The 6th Branch, a nonprofit community service organization founded by two Tillman Military Scholars. The 6th Branch works in the Oliver Neighborhood of Baltimore through a service initiative called Operation: Oliver to revitalize the community through beautification efforts, job training, youth initiatives and real estate development.