JD’s life is worthy of a book. Here’s the reader’s digest version;
gets college scholarship for football, plays college ball and does good in school-graduates early, has degree in something called entrepreneurial studies and gets job with some type of investment company, because of some weird circumstances and a transfer he gets to play 6 years of NCAA football (as far as I know, the only person like that), takes up Gracie Jiu Jitsu for the next few years and gets good at it, has opportunity to go to Brazil and train with the family and get in a couple of high ranked fights, passes because of the birth of a child. 9/11 happens and he here’s the calling, gives up big job-comes in Army becomes a Green Beret, 2nd child on the way, deploys to Iraq, Team SGT mentor gets killed in firefight, wife ready for birth, JD refuses to come home and stays with team, misses birth. Best quote ever from Mrs. JD taken from a Civil War widow- “It’s better to have been a soldier’s widow, than a coward’s wife”. Decorated for Valor in combat, re-deploys. Eventually gets out and comes to work for TS.
JD is passionate about shooting and has the same serious intensity I hope that I convey to students as well. He first introduced me to Tracker Dan, as well as Tom Kier and the Sayoc guys. He got me moving in the right direction with the blade and survival and I’m forever grateful for that. He and I have had countless conversations, range work, and practical application as to what is needed, not needed, important, etc. in regards to tactical shooting. It’s interesting that a lot of the things we both believe in were the same although we come from different units. That’s because the experience of doing it for real on our level I think makes everyone realize the same points. A lot of the stuff we came up with and have talked about I’ll be incorporating in the near future.
The two things I learned from JD were transferring my intensity in a positive way to the students and to constantly hone the way we do things.