Witnessing life and death on a daily basis transformed Sergeant Wesley Au-Yeung from an innocent college student into a model servant to the community. In his first year in college, Wesley was at odds with his future aspirations and enlisted in the Marine Corps to gain a broader perspective on life. During this time, he deployed to Iraq in 2007 as a Mortuary Affairs Specialist. Nearly every day, he identified deceased patriots and took them back to the United States with honor and respect. To say that this process was emotionally difficult is an understatement. Each time he sent home a perished hero, he was reminded that he had taken life for granted. Such experiences inevitably change a man, and this is what happened with Wesley. He realized how precious life is and vowed to dedicate himself to serve others.
Since leaving the military, Wesley has since maintained this momentum of selfless service. He became a student counselor in his local church ministry in Atlanta and started a music program at Cornell University, offering free piano lessons. He has also encapsulated these lessons in an article he sent to USA Today that stressed patriotism, the fragility of life and the need to cherish every moment spent with family.
Studying industrial and labor relations at Cornell University, Wesley wishes to continue his service to the country by consulting for the Department of Defense. As a human resource strategist, he aims to reorganize the personnel structure of our military, making it lighter and more effective. This would create a more sustainable budget while allowing our servicemembers to successfully accomplish their missions. Wesley now fully understands the concept of seizing the day. His experiences gave him a new outlook on life, and there is no stopping in his desire to help others and serve our country.