benesfamily-22-of-64I suppose if you actually want to know a little bit about me just read on…

I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin… Well, actually, make that two small towns in Wisconsin… considering my parents separated when my brother and I were young.

For the most part my childhood was fairly uneventful, though my parents did work a lot to provide for us…
Hindsight often does offer a slightly clearer picture though and looking back I realize just how much I missed out on because I only saw my dad for a few days throughout the month. There are so many things I never had the chance to learn and so many opportunities missed to become a better man. The sort of knowledge that should be handed down from father to son.

I grew up reading books, creating worlds in my head, dreaming big dreams, and tinkering with anything I could get my hands on; which I think in some respects was my way of escaping from the reality of things going on in my life, and in other respects it was my way of seeking to learn and do anything and everything that interested me. I suppose that’s where my love of reading and writing came from, and my desire to be creative and make things. To be more and do more, so to speak…

As my senior year was looming I had to finally decide what it was I should do with my life, happenstance led me to talking with a recruiter… Less than a week after I graduated from high school I left for boot camp to earn the title United States Marine. I graduated from boot camp, went to MCT, then to my MOS school to become a CH-46 mechanic, where I graduated top of my class. Interestingly enough it was in my MOS school that I accepted Christ into my life, which subsequently shaped the rest of my time in the service and beyond. I spent the next two years in Okinawa, Japan (you know, where Mr. Miyagi was from), then came back to the states. After that I deployed with my unit; we port hopped a bit, spent some time in Kuwait, and did some humanitarian assistance in Bangladesh after Cyclone Sidr hit in 2007. My last year was spent in Norfolk, VA training reserve Marines. Good times, for the most part…

At that time I never knew how profoundly serving would impact my life. It wasn’t until years after I separated from active duty that I realized how much my life had changed for the better…

After I separated from active duty I moved to the Chicago Suburbs, where my girlfriend (now wife) lived. Fast forward a year or so to me buying a house, getting married January 1st, 2011, and starting tech school all within a few months. That started the longest year and a half of my life, working full time at my job and putting in another 35-40 hours a week at school. 5 hours of sleep or less a day FTW…

I ended up graduating top of my class and actually had the chance to give the graduation speech. (Remember kids, you can do anything you set your mind to!)

And a little over a year later I was the proud dad to twin boys and have worked my way up in my current company.

Now…benesfamily-56-of-64

If there’s one thing I’ve come to realize over those many interesting years it’s that my hobbies, interests, passions, etc. have covered nearly everything in the spectrum and have shifted constantly. I’m never content to stick with or learn about just one thing. I have always resonated with the idea of the Renaissance Man, and while I don’t believe that I’m anywhere near being able to claim that title, it’s ultimately my goal in life to have earned it; to have learned much about many areas of life.

I’ve spent years trying to truly identify who I am and where my place is in this world. Herein lies┬ámy journey to that end.

I am a man on a mission to inspire positive change in the world by empowering others to live a fulfilling life, do good, and give back…

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