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    From the ashes

    2014 US Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition - Night Land Nav

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Benjamin John | Sgt. 1st Class Skyler Cordova, a senior drill sergeant with the 1st Battalion, 415th...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Benjamin John 

    U.S. Army Reserve Command

    JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. - “I was a meth addict,” said Skyler Cordova. “I was ashamed of the person I was looking at in the mirror.”

    That moment shocked Cordova into changing his life forever.

    He needed to get away from the methamphetamine that was controlling his life and leading him toward self destruction, prison and probably death.

    “I went and joined the Army [in 2001] and chose to be stationed in Germany because it was as far away from Phoenix as I could possibly get,” said Cordova. “And It saved my life.”

    The U.S. Army gave him the proper tools he needed to achieve his goals and the discipline to find the inner strength to walk away from addiction by providing another path.

    Within the first six years of Sgt. 1st Class Skyler Cordova's military career he held every leadership position in the infantry and twice deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    In 2008, he left active duty service and joined the U.S. Army Reserve where he was assigned to a drill sergeant battalion. He is currently a senior drill sergeant with Alpha Company 1-415th, 2nd Brigade, 95th Division, 108th Training Command.

    He said he decided to compete in the U.S. Army Reserve 2014 Best Warrior Competition, because he wanted to be an example to his other troops.

    “I decided to lead by example,” said Cordova. “I'm taking one event at a time and I know it will be challenging.”

    The BWC gives Soldiers in the U.S. Army Reserve an opportunity to step up and take on events competing against each other to find out who will go on to represent the U.S. Army Reserve as a whole at the Department of the Army Best Warrior Competition.

    The military also gave Cordova the tools to attend college through the use of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. He graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's of science in psychology from Arizona State University. He is also now in a doctoral program at Argosy University in Phoenix, Arizona.

    The discipline I got in the military helped me succeed,” said Cordova. “I treat school like receiving a mission.”

    Cordova said the U.S. Army fills a void in his life, but he also gains strength by helping others who struggle with substance and alcohol addiction.

    “He's driven by the ability to help people,” said Rachel Cordova, Skyler's wife. “He wants to be that person. He has the ability to make people laugh in any situation. He gets them to open up and talk about anything in their life.”

    Every Sunday morning, the Cordova household hosts a group of about 50 men that are recovering from substance abuse. The group has breakfast and conducts meetings about how their lives have improved through the use of a recovery program. Every other week, they host a couples meeting for people dealing with substance abuse and their supporting spouses.

    “My whole life now, is geared towards recovery,” said Cordova. “I spend six to 10 hours a week working with other addicts and alcoholics. I see other people like me and I can show them a way out.”

    Cordova rose from the ashes of his past life and is back living in Phoenix, Arizona, as a new man ready to be an example to others. He exemplifies that no matter what happens in life, people can chose a different path. For Cordova, it wasn't an easy path out of addiction, but he found a military family to give him a new life. Now he's trying to be that support system for others who need it.

    Now when Cordova looks in the mirror, a strong-jawed, focused Soldier with a crew cut glares back ready to take on any challenge in life.



    Date Taken: 06.24.2014
    Date Posted: 06.25.2014 00:21
    Story ID: 134304
    Hometown: PHOENIX, AZ, US

    Web Views: 901
    Downloads: 1