Military Family | Immigrant Family | Union Family
I was born in May of 1978 in Nashville, Tennessee to two United States Marines-- my mom Carol, who emigrated from Jamaica when she was 16 and joined the Corps when she was 18, and my father James, who was born in Memphis, Tennessee, raised in Queens, New York, and enlisted early in the Corps at 16 years old. They are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year. I have one younger sister, Shelayla, who is 2 years younger than I am.
My dad served two tours of duty in the Vietnam War, and he met my mom, who was in one of the first cohorts of female combat medics during the war, in Quantico when they both were on rest time. My dad was honorably discharged after his tours were completed and worked for Bloomingdale's, General Motors, and the US Postal Service (Member, APWU) before retiring 3 years ago.
My mom was also a US Postal Worker (Member, APWU) went on to join the Army National Guard and then the Air Force, with 6 deployments to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq first serving as, and then training, combat medics. She was called again into active duty after 9/11 and was on continuously until she retired 2 years ago as a Master Sergeant.
My sister Shelayla has an undergraduate degree in Biology Pre-Med and a master's degree in Cell and Molecular Biology. She was a Special Agent in Serology, Crime Scene Investigator, and Sharpshooter for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation until she moved with my parents to Charlotte after they retired. She is now the principal designer and building consultant for our family's real estate and construction design company, FreeHill Group.