30 years! At this point, I’ve known my wife for more than half of my life. I’ve completed a meaningful and positive experience in the United States Marine Corps. Which, while in, I lost my dear grandmother, but gained so many awesome brothers that I will forever call my family. Though, unexpected, I fought in a war, where I found myself shrouded in luck, brave Marines and a team that was far more experienced than I was in that sort of thing. I was also surrounded by a loving and supportive family, which continues to show an amazing amount of support and love. Surprisingly enough, I found my love for academics in Afghanistan, which is where I learned a bit about independent learning and a lot responsibility. 30 comes at a time where I’ve been challenged more academically, intellectually and fundamentally than I ever in my life. My assumptions, realities and comforts are challenged on a daily. Earning a PhD is no joke! Luckily, I have a strong group of peers, faculty and family (wife) that support my wild ideas and keep me academically grounded. I’ve maintained a strong relationship with the people that are important to me and that share the same sentiment. I’m lucky to keep in touch with old friends in KY and those abroad. They all keep me in check and humble. I’m surrounded by friends of all walks of life. I appreciate the ones that keep me grounded. Friends with children, some with busy careers, some with busy travel schedules and some that just goof around - they are all loved. I’m so fortunate to be surround by that love. 30 isn’t much different than 20, except my knees hurt when I run and I have a hard time waking after 3 beers. It’s a harsh reality, but I’m accepting getting older. I’m fortunate to live, work, study and be surrounded by the things I love an enjoy. Here’s to the next 30!