By: David Kucic RA
CRS, GRI, ABR, e-PRO, AHWD
Tropic Lightning Real Estate, Oahu, Hawaii
Grab a cup of coffee or an ice cold soda as you will need the caffeine to stay awake.
Born in Chicago. Grew up in Calumet City, IL. Graduated from Thornwood High School in South Holland, IL. I played baseball for my entire childhood, high school and on a semi-pro team (MSBL) in Colorado called the Colorado Springs Grizzlies. We won the Colorado state championship in 1995.
I have the most awesome family that anyone could possibly be blessed to have. We are one of those very, very unique families where EVERYONE gets along. There are no bad feelings between in-laws or any other members of the family. My wife and I have been married for over 20 years after eloping to Denmark (we were in Germany at the time) and then we had a church wedding in Germany 2 months later so the family could celebrate with us. Tonya is a native Hawaiian and was stationed in Germany with her career Army father when we met. We have two great kids. Our son attends the University of Hawaii in Manoa and our daughter is in elementary school.
After high school, I worked in Chicago for Blue Cross and Blue Shield Insurance as a claims processor before joining the Army as a FIELD ARTILLERYMAN which is what I remained for the duration of my career. I served in all positions within a Field Artillery Battalion to include Cannoneer, Gunner, Section Chief, Gunner Sergeant, Platoon Sergeant and First Sergeant.
My Army travels took me to:
Ft. Sill, Oklahoma (2 years)
Ft. Hood, Texas (2 year)
Garlstedt, Germany (3 years)
Ft. Carson, Colorado (3 tours of duty for a total of 9 years)
Kirchgoens, Germany (4 years)
Schofield Barracks, Hawaii (3 Years)
In between these assignments I spent almost 3 years in declared Combat Zones to include service in:
Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm (Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait) 3rd Armored Division
Operation Intrinsic Action (Kuwait) 4th Infantry Division
Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq) 25th Infantry Divsion (Light)
I was a Drill Sergeant at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma for 2 years training new Army recruits. Besides being in a combat zone, those were the longest hours I worked in my life.....waking up at 3:30 each morning and not getting home until around 10:00 pm each night. I almost forgot I had a family during that time because I barely saw them.
My service to our country is something that I am very, very proud of. During my 22 year military career, I was recognized on a few occassions as being a pretty decent Soldier and was awarded the following:
2 Bronze Star Medals for combat in Operations Desert Storm (1991) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (2004-2005), 3 Meritorious Service Medals, 9 Army Commendation Medals, 11 Army Achievement Medals, 7 Good Conduct Medals, 2 National Defense Service Medals, Meritorious Unit Citation, Southwest Asia Service Medals with 3 battle stars, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, 2 Overseas Service Ribbons, Valorous Unit Award, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Saudi Arabia Kuwaiti Liberation Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal, Drill Sergeant Identification Badge, Combat Action Badge, General Aubrey Red Newman Leadership Award, St. Barbaras Award. Member of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club. Winner of the Ft Carson Non Commissioned Officer of the Quarter, Winner of the Ft. Carson Non Commissioned Officer of the Year in 2001, Winner III Corps Non Commissioned Officer of the Year 2001, Runner-up All Army Non Commissioned Officer of the Year 2001, Winner US Army Drill Sergeant of the Cycle 1999, Honored Graduate from the Advance United States Army Non Commissioned Officers Course, Graduate of the Paladin Commanders Course, Combat Lifesavers Course, Drill Sergeant School, Defensive Driving School. Certificate of Appreciation Counter Terrorism Group Sulaymaniyah Province of Iraq, Silver Award German "Schutzenshnur" Awarded for NATO weapons proficiency from the country of Germany.
My volunteer work has me serving as the Junior Vice-Commander of Wahiawa Chapter 4 of the Disabled American Veterans and Tonya and I also volunteer as bus drivers for the Disabled American Veterans that do not have a way to make it to their medical appointments. I am actually the driver. Tonya is my co-pilot!
Hobbies: Golf, Running, Surfing, Fishing, Island Hopping and Hiking. Golf is definitely at the top of the list and I am in one of the most beautiful places on the planet to enjoy this sport. My goal is to play every course on every island. I am approximately 40% complete with that goal.
I retired from the Army in 2005 but had earned my real estate license prior to my retirement. I am a glutton for education in real estate and have earned the designations of Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Graduate of the Realtors Institute (GRI), Internet Professional (e-PRO), Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR) and At Home With Diversity (AHWD).
Jay Oku from the "Gathering Place", Oahu.