By JESSICA WILDE
Capital News Service
At 19, Adrea Benedetti was at a roadblock. He was headed down “a path of self-destruction,” and chose to join the Army instead.
Benedetti’s father was killed when he was 3, and his mother died of breast cancer 10 years later. His grandmother raised him, and when he dropped out of high school at 16, he moved in with family, then with friends.
One day, while walking to work, an Army recruiter pulled over and gave him her card.
Benedetti joined the Army three weeks later, and said he changed drastically over the next four years. The discipline of the Army and the people he met gave him ambition and focus.
"If I didn't join the Army, I'd probably be in jail, dead ....," he said.
Now he is completing his bachelor’s degree at the University of Maryland University College on the GI Bill. He is studying criminal justice and hopes to one day either rejoin the Army as an officer or pursue a career in the FBI.
"The change I've made put me in a place where I can help other people," he said.
Watch Benedetti tell his own story in the accompanying CNS video.