David Forman

"We all imagine what service is when we're kids. Watching movies, seeing the action on TV—there's an idea in your head. I have come to realize there's no such thing as the good and bad guy—we are all people in the end and there's always a story behind each one of us. Because of that, the most important lesson I've learned while serving is to always default to your humanity. Things are not always going to go according to plan when on the front line. To me, it's all about facilitating goodwill. There are so many ways of delivering service, even on the most simple level—which often is the most impactful. The little things—the acts of kindness, the respect, the compassion, the venerability, the authenticity—is what our job is all about.

What it comes down to is how you react in all situations—good or bad—and to remind yourself that we are all people in the end. If your sole goal is to serve others, that will drive everything in your life. Even if your primary job doesn't allow you to do it all the time. You can find ways of making it happen. It's your duty to find ways of making it happen. Service to me is protecting the community and being human, no matter what the circumstance."

David Forman spent nine years serving in the US Navy—intercepting drug and human trafficking, aiding in disaster relief and running the Tomahawk Missile Program. David was called to serve and did so, no matter the circumstance. He shared with us so eloquently that his purpose is to protect humankind.