Just two weeks after graduating from high school and prior to attending the University of Pennsylvania, I joined the United States Merchant Marine to help pay for my college education. I proudly served as an Ordinary Seaman aboard three different vessels which fell under the jurisdiction of the world-renowned Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. This is the organization primarily responsible for discovering the R.M.S. Titanic in the North Atlantic. The names of the ships which I served on were the Knorr, Atlantis, and Oceanus.
It is from my service as a Merchant Mariner starting at the young age of 18 that I developed a profound interest in the international community. Before I turned 20 I had already traveled through the Panama Canal, seen the Caribbean, Europe, South America, Central America, and mainland Mexico.
With this experience I developed qualities such as character, maturity, humility, responsibility, self-respect and honor which still remain with me to this day.