Meet your (Veteran) neighbor

Two minutes with Ben

Why did you join the military?

Honestly, joining the military had never crossed my mind before my senior year of high school. I knew I couldn't afford to go to many of the schools I was interested in, and when the opportunity to go to West Point presented itself, I knew I would get the education I was looking for. Attending USMA and serving our Country ended up being the best decision I have ever made. Being a Leader at such a young age, putting others before myself, and putting my Country above all else shaped my future in so many ways, and I'll be forever thankful to West Point. Serving our Country was one of the greatest joys of my life.

What did you do in the military?

I was a PATRIOT Missile Defense Officer. In addition to my unit leadership responsibilities, I monitored a radar, interpreted real-time data, and made rapid friend-or-foe determinations. I was responsible for making the decision to launch missiles to destroy enemy aircraft and missiles.

What did you learn?

I learned that being a Leader is a challenging, time-consuming, and oftentimes frustrating role; however, it's also one of the most fulfilling, and rewarding experiences one can have. Leading men and women in the U.S. Army instilled in me a passion for leading teams, taught me about self-reflection, and helped me fully appreciate the power of teams. I also learned that the world is much bigger than I ever imagined, yet there is so much that connects us as humans. America is built on diversity and respect for one another and our differences. Being in the military taught me that instilling the American values of freedom and equality in our future generations is one of the most important gifts we can give them.

Why did you move to Charlotte?

I was born at Presbyterian hospital, went to high school at Charlotte Latin, and met my wife there. I was offered a job opportunity in Charlotte that really excited me, and we are now finding that Charlotte is a great city to raise a family in. We're settled here until the next adventure arises!

What was the hardest part about your transition back to the civilian workforce/community?

Starting over. When I joined the civilian workforce, I had to demonstrate my skills, abilities, and talents to prove myself all over again. In the Army, I led large teams to accomplish missions, but I had to re-establish myself by being an individual contributor, follower, and demonstrating to civilian workforce leaders that I belonged.