Capt Rich “Nini” Cardona, USMC (Ret.) was born and raised in Morristown, NJ. I’m a 1st generation American born to a Colombian father and Honduran mother.
I realized pretty early on that college was my future pretty early, I made sure I would head off the Marines after graduation in 1998. I spent almost 9 years enlisted, and 8 years commissioned before opting for early retirement after a modestly successful career.
Transition was kind of a shit-show although I was doing everything right; Seminars, networking events, an MBA. Im much more settled in now, yet it’s still a challenge. I suspect some areas of transition are just long-term and that’s ok.
I’m here just to help in whatever direct or roundabout way I can. I’m not overly patriotic and have no ulterior motive. I just felt a spark and was compelled to act on it. People need to see the transition not simply be engulfed by it.
Me and Me in AFG ’12
CPT Donnell “We don’t do Hollywood callsigns” Ray, USA (Ret.) was born and raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Every male in my family has served in some branch of service since World War II.
I never planned on doing 20 years in the Army. I was having fun so I stayed. I lived the life of the Army commercial. Jumping out of planes, riding in armored vehicles and flying the most awesome helicopter ever made. However, all good things must come to an end. It was time to be home.
Transition was, as mentioned above a shit-show. I fought with certain members of my chain of command just to get the time to do transition processing and returned from a deployment 90 days before I was set to get out. All in all, it went OK.
My goal here aligns with our mission. Inspire Veterans by showing them positive examples of those that went before them. However, it is not all good. We know that by not sugar coating it and just giving you the raw emotions, trials and tribulations faced along the paths taken to success, by people just like yourselves, you are more likely to be inspired and empowered.