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Community is at the core of my values as a veteran, a psychologist, and a leader. That value stems from the day a volcano destroyed my father’s town on the island of Faial (Azores). It was the community in Rhode Island and Massachusetts that pushed then Senator John F. Kennedy to pass the Azorean Refugee Act of 1958. That was the beginning of my family’s story in America. And as a first-generation American, I felt a special call to serve as a Marine when we were attacked on September 11, 2001.
I left Rhode Island to become a Marine Embassy Guard and defend U.S. diplomatic missions in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and India. While in Saudi Arabia, I led the defense of the U.S. Consulate during an Al-Qaeda assault. For those actions, I was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor and Department of State Award for Heroism. I also learned how people could come together and thrive after the most difficult, horrific situations.
After serving in the Marine Corps, I studied psychology and became a Navy Lieutenant and Psychologist. Since then, I've worked with service members, veterans, and their families to facilitate adaptation, recovery, and growth from multiple combat deployments. Understanding that my client's individual lives are impacted by larger social and political conversations, I've also committed myself to advocacy for veterans healthcare and women's equality. I live in Jamaica Plain with my wife Stephanie and our dog Dexter.