Hello, my name is Rook and I’ve got a story for you.

I was born in 1982 in South Philadelphia to a large Italian family. I grew up fast, helping my father hang drywall for the union.

I started working steady when I was 13 and moved out at 16 years old. I graduated in the top 20 percent of my class and was soon recruited by the US Army.

I was stationed at Ft. Benning. After that, 18 months in Korea. Then it was two tours in Iraq and two tours in Afghanistan and one tour in Colombia where I was shot in the knee.

After a lengthy recovery, I went on one last tour to Afghanistan where I was injured again by a mortar. I also found the love of my life: a female soldier named Jenn.

After our deployment, we left the Army and decided to use our degrees to become helicopter pilots. After two semesters the VA stopped paying our benefits.

So, here I sit.

Thank you for listening.

– Rook

And thank you for supporting this place where he can be heard. – Kris