GySgt Andrew Smith, U.S. Marine Corps

In 2005, at the age of 18, Andrew joined the Marine Corps. In 2006, during his first deployment to Iraq, he provided support to an Army unit in Ramadi. He filled in as an advisor for the Iraqi army and a machine gunner for the unit’s convoys and patrols. Andrew was injured during his first deployment with a TBI due to a vehicle collision. Andrew continued to serve and return back to Iraq a year later. After this second deployment, he spent his next three years providing security for three U.S. embassies: Wellington, Mozambique, and London. Upon completion of this tour of duty, Andrew returned to California and was deployed to Afghanistan to provide security training for Georgian coalition forces. After returning back to the states and completing 13 years of active duty, Andrew transitioned from active duty to the Marine Corps reserves due to residual effects from PTSD, TBI, and secondary conditions. During his time in the reserves, Andrew earned his graduate degree in health care administration from National University in La Jolla and currently working on his second Master’s degree in business administration from the University of San Francisco.