PERSON OF INTEREST: Greg Chinama

Greg Chinama


Age: 34  // Lives in Wildwood  //  Residential specialist for LifeStream Behavioral Center’s Anthony House


At your service: I was a U.S. Marine from 1997 to 2001. After 9/11 happened, I enlisted in the U.S. Army because I knew fellow soldiers were preparing for war and I wanted to be there with them. I served in Iraq for six months in 2003 and for 15 months in 2007 and 2008. I was a logistical specialist who supplied soldiers with meals, weapons and ammunition. I also provided transportation.

Badge of courage: I was awarded the Combat Action Badge for surviving an improvised explosive device. It exploded as our convoy was going through a checkpoint while making a supply run near Camp Taji. The impact shattered the vehicle’s glass and I got minor cuts.

It takes a village: My unit also delivered meals and bottled water to local Iraqi villages and provided children with toys and school supplies. The kids gave us high-fives and enjoyed having pictures taken with us.

Solider turned author: This year, my book, Living in the Age of Apathy, was published. The book explores how apathy toward various aspect of society — government, religion, relationships and parenting — negatively affects our country. I want the book to help people reflect on themselves and figure out in which areas of life they need to be more compassionate. To prosper as a country, we cannot afford to have so many people take an “I-don’t-care” attitude toward important societal issues. The book can be purchased on Amazon.com.

Military career advice: Don’t choose a military branch because you’re gung-ho or think one branch is tougher than another. Carefully research which branch offers you the most benefits, such as college funds or career preparation.

Favorite war movie: “Platoon.”

How you met your wife: I met Leanda while working as a security guard at North Florida Regional Medical Center. I was making rounds when I first noticed her. We locked eyes and I immediately knew there was something special about her. I made small talk and then told her she was going to be my wife.

Fatherhood: We recently learned Leanda is pregnant. If it’s a boy, his name will be Greg Jr. If it’s a girl, her name will be Manessah.

Desired tombstone inscription: “This is where you end up if you eat pork.”

Dogs or cats: Neither. I prefer a goldfish in a Ziploc bag. It’s low maintenance.

Music you’d take on a deserted island: Tom Jones. I love his music.


PHOTO: Matthew Gaulin

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