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Away for the holidays: Frisco resident prepares for military deployment overseas
Lance Cpl. David Anzualda, a Frisco native, peers out the back of an MV-22B Osprey as he crosses decks from the USS Bataan to the USS San Antonio on Dec. 15. This was part of Anzualda's unit's third major training exercise of their pre-deployment training process. Photo courtesy of Cpl. Kyle N. Runnels.
For Christmas this year, David Anzualda wasn't at home with his family in Frisco. In fact, he wasn't even in Texas.
That's because Anzualda is a lance corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps and is preparing for his first deployment overseas as part of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
As a Frisco High School senior in 2010, Anzualda wasn't quite sure what he wanted to do after graduating. He said there were two realistic options available: enroll at Collin College or enlist in the military.
He officially enlisted halfway through his senior year -- and just five months after graduation he was in boot camp.
"I really just kind of didn't see anything standing out to me as far as what I wanted to do -- I really didn't have a career choice," Anzualda said. "I joined my senior year. I didn't have a career choice I wanted to pick out specifically, so I figured I'd let the Marine Corps pick for me."
Both Anzualda's parents were supportive of his decision, although he said it was "a mix of both worlds" as they were concerned for him but happy he'd be making his own way in life.
The youngest of his four siblings were slightly more concerned, he said, as they "see the war movies and sometimes are worried I'm doing the same stuff."
Since enlisting, Anzualda has underwent training in preparation for deployment next year. He's also been given a military occupation, cyber-network operator, in which he helps other military personnel with network operations.
When he first signed his contract, Anzualda didn't envision himself in that role, however. He wasn't even sure what he'd wind up being.
"I enlisted as an open contract with no specific site on a specific job," Anzualda explained. "This is what the Marine Corps picked for me, and I'm pretty lucky that I got it because it's a job where there's a wide range of opportunities."
Prior to enlisting, Anzualda had hoped he'd be a police officer for the Frisco Police Department or other area police department one day, but his new career path has opened up opportunities he'd never thought would exist, he said.
"Since I'm in the IT field in the military, I figure I'll get what I can out of the Marine Corps as far as college training and certificate and see where that can take me," he said.
In addition to increasing his military proficiency and getting better at his job, Anzualada added that he's looking forward to experiencing new cultures in his off-duty time.
This Christmas marked the second time since enlisting that Anzualda hasn't been home for the holidays -- he was home last year, although he missed Christmas in 2010 because of boot camp -- but he knows his family knows what he's preparing for.
If everything works out, Anzualda said he hopes he'll be able to return home at least once before deployment, although he's not sure when he'll be able to return to Frisco next.
"I know my family supports me and understand why where I'm at and why I can't be there," he said. "It sets my mind at ease that they understand why I can't be there."