I attended Notre Dame University on an ROTC scholarship, graduating in 1976 in American Studies and emerging as a second lieutenant. After Armor Officer Basic at Fort Knox, Kentucky, I was assigned to command a tank platoon in the 2/70 Armor of the 24th Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia. At 22 years of age, I was responsible for five tanks and the training and welfare of their crews. In 1978, I was sent to Fort Rucker, Alabama to attend helicopter flight school and become an Army Aviator. A long time dream came true for me as my wife, Chris, pinned on my silver pilot wings in March of 1978. three years in the 2/10 Air Cavalry of the 7th Infantry Division at Fort Ord, California were spent flying many different missions and serving in Squadron staff positions until my 1982 honorable discharge from the military to enter our family business.

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