Editor's Note: The following information was obtained from the Borgia campaign.
From the ages of 12 to 18 Borgia preformed as a magician at kids birthday parties, a stock boy at a woman's weight loss center, a salesman at a high volume fresh squeezed lemonade stand, and a butchers apprentice at an Italian market where he spent most of his time making sausages. From the ages of 18 to 21, he waited tables.
During much of his late teens and early twenties he was motivated by the pursuit of creative ambitions: making music with technology, starting a local magazine publication, and acting. At the age of 24 he returned to college.
While traveling between the 10th and 11th states (Virginia and New York respectively) he stopped at the Arlington National Cemetery, where the trajectory of his life was forever changed. While walking by rows and rows of tombstones he took a minute to reflect on the path that led me to that moment. He was 27 years old, he had enjoyed life, benefited from liberty, and vigorously pursued happiness, but he had never given back to my country. A few minutes later he was on the phone with an Army recruiter, and a few weeks after that he was at Basic Training in Fort Benning Georgia.
Fast forward a bit and Borgia was a Soldier in Iraq, operating out of Camp Liberty just outside of Baghdad. He was the Officer in charge of his battalion's communication assets. He loved the job, his soldiers, the mission; but his superiors were sending him on a new mission with new soldiers. He was ordered to serve as a Platoon Leader in the middle of Baghdad, at a much smaller base they called Forward Operating Base Justice.
Taking command of a platoon during a time of war is an opportunity coveted by most lieutenants, so it was not long until he was there, at FOB Justice meeting his new Soldiers and taking on the new mission. But this story does not end with any explosions or gunfire; there was no drama, no death, no birth, no epiphany - only a piece of paper.
The piece of paper had been stapled to his bedroom door, printed on it was an anonymous quote that read: "When the people fear their government there is tyranny; When the government fears its people there is liberty"
Borgia read that quote every night, wondering who wrote it, why it was posted, what it trying to say. He figured it must have been written by a Soldier who occupied the room before me. Weeks went by and he curiosity peaked, soon he was online doing a search. Sure enough he was wrong, the could was attributed to Thomas Jefferson, one of our nation's founding fathers.
"When the people fear their government there is tyranny; When the government fears its people there is liberty."
Feeling underwhelmed with his ability to recall famous quotes from past leaders, he sought out more notable quotes. And that's where his motivation for public service originated. He was inspired by the quotes of men. Men who lead this nation through good times and bad. These men were not gods. Their wisdom did not come from legend. Their guidance did not come from myth. They were just men; men who stood up and served their country when it needed it most.
Filled with an elevated sense of possibility and purpose, and inspired by the movement for liberty, prosperity and justice, he knew where his future passion would be invested.