The pandemic of 2020/2021 brought with it the necessity for sacrifice, patience and courage. With no false humility, becoming a trusted operator in the United States military is a difficult task that brings with it a unique group of experiences. These experiences have the ability to help shape an individual, but more importantly it allows the individual to develop tools that are useful and necessary in high stress environments.

When the global pandemic hit in 2020, without warning or any specialized training, hospital workers were thrust into a work rhythm that had similarities to a warzone. Supply chains were compromised, limiting availability to vital equipment; personnel were overloaded leading to critical resource management decisions; values were tested as orders changed quicker than science could clarify.

It is no understatement to say lives were saved daily thanks to the dedicated and resilient hospital worker’s ability to adapt and overcome. Thank you to those who stepped up.

When I find myself facing an overwhelming moment in life I always land back on this quote: 

“You don’t rise to the occasion, you fall to your training.”

I will continue to show up and work everyday, because that’s what’s expected where I’m from; I know my teammates will keep me honest and on the right side of my training habits and I’ll be watching them; I know my friends and family will be there with me through thick and thin; and no matter how fast life moves, I know my community will always be grateful for the moments we create for each other. Don’t give up. Don’t get stuck. DON’T EVER FUCKING QUIT!

When in doubt, go. That Others May Live.

Keep Swimming, Timmy

Tim Kline

Tim Kline

TK is a former pararescueman and retired surfman from the Jacksonville Beach Voluntary Life Saving Corps. He has traveled the world on military and humanitarian missions, as well as exploring on his own.