I went to Jerry’s youth ranch from 1998-1999. Jerry was a great role model to all the boys there. We learned how to ride a horse, run a ranch, and how to farm. We were treated very well and ate like kings. Jerry is still one of my favorite people in this world, and I don’t believe I’ll ever meet anyone more honest. After leaving the youth ranch, I returned to work for Jerry on two separate occasions.
At 15 years old I was sent to the Sunlight Mountain Cattle Ranch. As an adult in my late 30’s I now fully understand the situation I had created and the reasons I was sent to the ranch and would not have had it any other way. My stay was only supposed to be for a summer but after a month I was begging my parents to let me stay there full time and finish high school at the ranch through a self-paced Homeschool program. I excelled in every possible facet of life there. I became a man before I left the ranch in 2001 after two years there. That point in my adolescence was the most formative and empowering two years of my life and shaped me into the Man I am today. I am a humble person by nature but will not hesitate to call forward my accomplishments if it marks the character and type of man, I am in order to bring more power to the words I speak towards the character of another man. After leaving the ranch I went to college for Equestrian Studies but ended up dropping out to join the US Military after 9/11. As an Infantryman I deployed to Iraq on three combat deployments from 2003-2006. I then volunteered to join the Special Operations. I went through years of grueling Assessments, Selection, and Training to earn the title of Special Operator. I was with Special Operations for 6 years and deployed to Jordan, Africa, and Afghanistan continuing to excel in this community. After 12 years of service to my country I left the military and set out on a new journey. I quickly found myself back in service but now as a civilian. I was an Intelligence Integrator and Targeting Officer supporting Joint Special Operations Command and performed some of the most secretive and important missions for our country during the campaign to defeat ISIS. After 7 years in that community, I ventured out on my own and started my own company. Today I am the CEO of a Defense Contracting company and the CEO of a Veterans Nonprofit Organization, a Knight of Columbus, a Father, a Husband, a Friend, and an American. I would not be any of these things if it were not for the fortitude and perseverance of Mark Schneider. No matter the odds Jerry was always steadfast in his values and honor and never swayed or gave an inch. Such indominable character was the baseline I set my standards upon for becoming a man and I know I have lived up to that calling. Jerry may be a rough man but he never crossed lines that could be considered abuse or neglect. The world needs more men like Jerry and I stand firm in saying I would give my life to see him continue to give as he has.