Pirates were the biggest concern for those sailing in the Gulf of Thailand, as they had been known to slaughter innocent people, so we took the long way to avoid them, meaning that our journey took 10 days instead of the three we’d expected.
The life lessons I learned from my service
I joined the military because I wanted to serve. I also had a very scary home life and knew that if I didn't join to learn how to do something, I would have just gotten in trouble at home.
I've gotten very good at prioritizing multiple projects at once, which I definitely did in the military. I've also learned how to be a champion troubleshooter.
The service also taught me a lot about empathy. I was exposed to other countries where people aren't as fortunate as in the United States, and it made me more empathetic to what other folks are going through.
So, I wanted to keep helping people even after I left the service.
Looking back, I wish I understood how beneficial the Tuition Assistance program could actually have been while I was serving. When I was in, I didn't know what I wanted to go to school for, so, I didn't take advantage of that benefit until the end of my career.
Still, I have found a great career here at Palo Alto Networks and learned that the transition to civilian life can open new doors.
To those in the service who are considering making a change, remember that there is a place for you. The trick is that you have to show the industry how your uniqueness can help them solve problems or bring value to their companies.
Found in Translation: How learning English from TV and movies helped me escape a war-torn Iraq and start a new life in America
As a child growing up in Baghdad, Iraq, I developed a passion for computers from watching the American movie WarGames. I thought, “That’s exactly what I want to do!”
I wasn't ready for college and I felt I needed to find out who I was. I wanted to see exactly what I was capable of and if I could overcome some of the toughest challenges, both mentally and physically, so I could be the best version of myself.