David’s Story - United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County
David’s Story - United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County

David’s Story

Finding Balance After Leaving His Military Career Behind
  • June 20, 2024
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After an accomplished career in the Army that took him across the world, David discovered what would become his life’s biggest challenge: fatherhood.

With his newborn daughter only a few months old at the height of the pandemic, David was spending all of his free time with his family. He had a looming deadline to commit to another reenlisting only a few months after the birth of his daughter. David was seriously considering whether his current career fit with his desire to be involved with his child’s daily life.

“Obviously, serving my country has always been a huge priority of mine but she really turned the tables on that,” David says about his daughter. “I had so much fun with my daughter and my wife that come August, I was like ‘I don’t know if I am ready to leave,’” he said.

Facing a major career change, David felt conflicted on what he should do next with his life.

“And then I had basically told myself, this last deployment is not going to make or break your career because you’ve had a phenomenal career,” he says. “It’s not going to make or break your career but it will make or break your reputation as a father in your eyes,” David added.

Unable to commit himself 100% to the military, David took the risk of going back to school to create a brighter future for his family.

The next challenge for his family was figuring out how he could go back to school with the high cost of child care.

David says he often worked jobs that did not pay enough to make ends meet. With the high cost of child care and working around his new school schedule, he felt that the options he had did not make sense for his family financially.

“You’re like, I am literally working to send my kid away that is the brutal truth,” David says. “You’re working a job that the paycheck goes so that you can work that job. I have family members and friends who do just that and they’ve pulled their kids from daycare and quit their jobs because mathematically and financially, it does not make sense.”

That’s when he found the United Way Child Care Scholarship. With only 24 hours before the deadline for applications, David frantically put together everything he needed to submit.

Having just relocated to San Antonio and unaware of what the future held for his family after leaving his military career behind, David says being awarded the United Way Child Care Scholarship gave his family the support they needed during a time of change.

“The way the scholarship helped me the most was it was my first win, my first green light out of the military,” he says. “It gave me momentum like you can do it, you just have to search.”

The scholarship gave David the flexibility he needed to go back to school and change careers.

“It was extremely euphoric because my wife and I were really stressing about it, we paid a decent amount of money for daycare in Washington. It was like there goes health care, there goes your paycheck.”

David now says that the United Way Child Care Scholarship provided them a “safety net” that allowed him to pursue and earn his bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Now he works in the medical sciences field and is planning on going to grad school. Most of all, his education has empowered his family to thrive economically

Armed with his degree and a new career, David is optimistic about his family’s future. He credits a realization he had soon after leaving the military for his personal perseverance. “I discovered this mantra that balance is never really there. You just have to discover what you’re not going to be,” David says. “I think the moment that you face that you realize that there’s no such thing as balance in life. Life is never really in balance, you’re just choosing what you’re going to be good at,” he adds.

With the support of the United Way Child Care Scholarship, the signature cause of Women United, David found what was most important to him, took the risks he needed to take and built a stronger foundation for his family’s future.

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