Why I served is an ongoing series that highlights local veterans and their stories presented by Warriors Entrepreneurs Network. This week, we met Christopher James Heppner, United States Marine Corp.
Name: Christopher James Heppner
Branch: United States Marine Corps
Active Service: April 2009-April 2013
Why did you decide to join the military?
I joined for many reasons and I believe that every individual that decides to join the military can be summed up into maybe three to four categories.
One of them being educational or financial reasons, another being family heritage, the next being called to serve or a drive to make the world a better place, and the last being a direction in life.
For me, I wanted to get my education and pay for it myself, but I also wanted to find some purpose and meaning for my life. I wanted my life to mean something, and what other way than to serve your country?
I wanted to look back on my life and know that I gave it everything I had for my country.
Why did you pick the service you joined?
I picked the United States Marine Corps because, come on, how freaking awesome do we look in our Dress Blues?
No branch or service even comes close to how amazing we look, so yeah, that was definitely a reason why I decided to join the Marines.
Another reason is because I wanted to be baddest of the bad and to know that anytime I mention to someone I’m a Marine, they quiver just slightly.
What war did you serve in?
I served in Operation Enduring Freedom twice. Once in Djibouti, Africa and and another in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
How did you stay in touch with family?
I stayed in touch with family through calling and, luckily, internet messaging services. In my day and age, I was blessed with technology, but I know that military personnel in previous wars did not have this luxury. So I consider myself extremely blessed to have this amenity.
What was your MOS (job/assignment)?
My MOS was 0431, Logistics/Embarkation Specialist. It was basically my job to get everyone and all their stuff from Point A to Point B in the most efficient manner possible.
It was then my job to ensure everyone had what they needed during deployments and to make sure it all got home safe and sound. Although my job was not the most exciting, it still served its purpose in the Corps.
Was your education supported by the G.I. Bill?
Since all military members have access to the G.I. Bill, I actively took advantage of this incredible benefit. Although some members do not use it, I was paramount in making sure I was able to get my full education with zero debt.
I am proud to say that I received both my undergraduate and graduate degree with absolutely zero debt.
That’s not something many people can say.
How did you hear about WEN?
Recently (September 2017) the company I work at was going through some financial troubles and so I started looking to build up my network.
I came across a post from WEN on Instagram talking about how they help veterans find jobs or help them build their own business.
So, long story short, I met with Dave Lineberry the owner, and we talked for about a good two hours discussing my aspirations, my business, his businesses and eventually talked about collaborating with one another.
Dave is a fantastic example of veteran leadership and has a vast amount of experience within the business realm.