On September 10, 2001, Sergeant Grady Kurpasi was a 29 year old computer programmer building business management software for financial firms in New York. On the morning of September 11, 2001, Grady found himself struggling to enter lower Manhattan to find his wife and get out of the city.
As Grady states, “I remember the sight of the normally cosmopolitan inhabitants of the financial sector covered in white ash. I also remember the dead silence of the city. At that moment I understood the relative shelter of my civilian life and felt gratitude toward the people who defend it.” It was also at that moment that Grady determined that it was his duty to repay this privilege.
This changed it all as Grady gave up his career in computer programming , enlisted in the Marine Corps and entered a life more demanding and challenging than anything he had encountered as a civilian. It was this leap of faith that Grady describes as a “serendipitous career change.” Now, after three deployments to Iraq and the addition of a daughter to his family, Grady is pursuing his degree in linguistics and Asian languages at UCLA while a part of the MECEP program. Upon completion, Grady will commission as an officer in the Marine Corps and return to the infantry where he plans on applying his skills on the battlefield.