I changed careers over the years. I've served in the military, done sales, project management, construction, and along the way, I've served as a volunteer firefighter.
I'm the third generation in my family in the fire service, and after being a volunteer for 12 years, then I decided I wanted to get into the fire service full time.
I was working as a firefighter for the state of California and was laid off in April 2012, right at the beginning of fire season. At my age, I'm not going to be picked up by another fire department. They want younger guys.
I've applied for everything from truck driver, to sales, to nonprofit work. I've sent out almost 400 resumes, and I've gotten nothing. I've done whatever I could to make ends meet.
Through some connections, I got a temp job as a truck driver in Napa Valley -- a 3-hour commute from where I live. I lived in my car and worked during grape harvest.