Transitioning from the military world to the civilian world is a major step for many veterans, one that likely doesn’t get discussed enough among veterans. On the new episode of “The David Johnson Show”, a national voice that talks about points of interest within the post 9/11 military and veteran culture, David speaks candidly about transition to civilian life with James Lloyd, former Drill Team Marine and current photography/videography entrepreneur.
James Lloyd served in the Marines for nearly five years (2008-2013), acting in various roles as an infantryman, ceremonial marcher, silent drill platoon, and later deployed to Jordan and Afghanistan. While in the silent drill platoon, James appeared all over the USA, performing with his Marine team at awards ceremonies, NBA halftime shows, and elsewhere.
“It was fun,” says James. “You have to develop a level of discipline and attention to detail to even make it on the team. That helps you become self-sufficient.”
James then served in combat infantry in Afghanistan in 2011 with the 3rd Battalion 7th Marine Regiment (3/7), a Marine Corps infantry battalion. He eventually reached his expiration of term of service (ETS) and came back to the Phoenix area.
After getting out of the Marines, James struggled to find a new niche for his skills and talents. He moved from job to job, often searching for a new passion in work.
“When you’re in the Marine Corps, you have one purpose. You have a unit of guys who have the same core values and all that stuff. And when you get out, you kind of lose that,” he says. “And so, my biggest struggle was trying to figure out, OK, now that I’m done with the Marine Corps, what do I do now? So I was left without an identity and I kind of struggled to find that.”
James continued searching, went to film school for a year, found strength in Christ, and persevered. He relied on his faith to pull through the struggles.
“We saw people going through very similar things, and you then realize like Jesus is always there for you,” says James. “And my faith is what got me through that.”
In the past two years, James started a new video production company called Striking Media, that he realized was a passion for him, and he’s working with that today.
David Johnson says “I’ve said it on the show numerous times and I’m a firm believer in this knowledge is cumulative. You don’t know what you don’t know in your 20s and you think you know a lot. And you get older and you learn things. I’m 38 now, and have been a full-time entrepreneur for 13 years now.”