Board Member, Volunteer Trainer
My undergraduate degree is from Illinois State University in Social Studies with an emphasis in Sociology & Criminology. I worked for the Illinois Peoria District State Attorney’s office as an investigator before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps to become an Infantry/Tank Officer. I recently retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after serving 27 years, a combination of active and reserve years of service. I have served in the Far East in several countries, shipboard deployments, and two combat tours. I was activated for Desert Storm as a Tank Company Commander liberating Kuwait from Iraq and being activated after 9/11 on the 1st Marine Division General’s staff for Operation Iraqi Freedom-1, invasion to Baghdad. Prior, I earned my California Teaching Credential in Social Studies a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership, California Administrative Credential, from University of San Diego. I have been teaching Political Science and Economics at Helix Charter High School (part of the Grossmont Union High School District) since 1983 between my Marine Corps active duty periods. I have been married to my wife Dina since 1979. Dina is a Clinical Laboratory Scientist (Hematology Specialist) at the University of California San Diego Hospital, Hillcrest. We have two sons, John III and Mario who are currently on active duty pending deployments in the Marine Corps soon to be promoted Sergeants. The former son mentioned is in a USMC aviation support unit and the latter in a USMC mortar infantry unit. One a graduate of University of California San Diego the other competing his degree at University of California Santa Barbara. My interest in training Service Dogs came about from the war injuries I saw Marines were sustaining in the Iraq war, some types I’ve never seen before in war as in Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD. I’m training my third dog with the help of my wife, family, my students/classroom environment and friends. It’s a privilege for me to be part of TLCAD in allowing me to help fill this need for a wounded veteran to have a better life.