Jeong started his military career in January 1998 at age 17. He joined the U.S. Army Reserves because he felt a strong desire to give back to his country. He and his family immigrated from the Republic of Korea (ROK) when Jeong was six years old, and he is grateful to the government of the United States for the life and freedoms he enjoys in America.
He joined the U.S. Army Reserves so that he could serve his country, but his enlistment has given him more than he imagined in his 18 years of service. He is thankful for the education, the experience, the traveling, the mentors, and the extraordinary people he’s met during his service. He is thankful he was chosen to serve in Iraq during the invasion (2003-2004) and in Afghanistan (2008-2009). Although the experiences overseas in a war zone have been negative on his health and my family, Jeong was thankful he was able to serve his country.
Jeong has also been fortunate to participate in military training exercises with the ROK Army. Because he speaks Korean, he served as a translator during his missions overseas. He started his Army Reserve career as a Personnel Admin Specialist for the first 3 years but found his true calling when he joined a Civil Affairs unit. Jeong has been a Civil Affairs Specialist for the last 15 years of his Army Career. He was also part of two Civil Affairs Airborne units and regularly participated in Airborne training events for many years, accumulating 30+ jumps.
A major midair incident caused permanent injury to his neck, shoulders, and back. He also sustained knee problems as a result of all the accumulated hard landings during Airborne operations.
Currently, Jeong lives happily with his wife and two children, a nine-year-old daughter and ten-year-old son. He just celebrated his 15-year wedding anniversary and feels blessed having a supportive wife and healthy children. His wife has helped him as he continues to deal with his mental and physical medical issues.
By participating in the expedition, Jeong is hopeful that he will gain the mental strength, confidence, and motivation he once had. He hopes that the experiences will light a fire inside of him that will bring him focus and direction.