2017 Expedition

Branch of Service: United States Air Force

State: California

Joni Marquez grew up on a ranch in Bradley, California as the eldest of two siblings and as she says, “the most misbehaved.” As it turned out, this misbehavior as a child turned into focus and determination that guided her into the military as a young adult.

She joined the U.S. Air Force in September of 1998. On September 11, 2001, as she sat in a briefing room and watched people jump out of the burning and crumbling twin towers, her heart fell into her stomach and she realized that terrorism, the very thing that she was fighting, had just hit American soil. From that day forward, something inside of her changed. After graduating from the University of California at Berkeley in 2008 and commissioning back into the Air Force, she received the position as a Fire Control Officer on a AC-130H gunship. She later moved on to become part of the 16th Special Operations Squadron and deployed overseas, eventually medically retiring from the Air Force as a Captain.

Joni battles PTSD and depression every day. During her deployment, she was involved in a mission that forever changed her life. Through Warriors to Summits, she hopes that she can learn how to live a life without shame or guilt. Joni looks forward to participating for the challenge and opportunity the expeditions present and the opportunity to grow as an individual. She hope to gain the optimize and strength needed to live an independent, active life.

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