Alumnus Corner: Danny Bianchi

LWW Class of 2018


For those reading this article, this may seem geared towards the junior and senior classes, but I am sure after reading this anyone can take something positive away from this former Warrior’s experiences. Like many of you now, I was at one point a student attending LWW who had no idea of what career path I wanted to follow. I decided to attend Joliet Junior College to give myself the time I needed to figure out which career path was right for me. In my first semester of college I began taking electrical engineering courses. It turned out these classes were not the ones for me, as I struggled to maintain even a B. The next semester came, and I decided to choose a different route for my degree, as I filled out my schedule with just prerequisite classes. One cold day, as I sat in Business Law, I thought to myself, “I really don’t know what I want to do with my life.”

But there was something I always saw myself doing. That something happened to be joining the United States military. After that class I packed up and headed toward the recruiting office. Just a few months later, I was heading to boot camp in Great Lakes and 8 weeks later, I had received the title of United States Sailor. After graduation from boot camp, I stayed in Great Lakes for another 8 months to complete my schooling for my job in the Navy. I was then sent to Virginia Beach for another 3 months for another school.

The job title I was given when I enlisted in the Navy was a Fire Controlman. The basics of my job include working on the specific weapons system I was sent to school for. My tasks include daily maintenance on the system, troubleshooting if the system requires it, testing the system periodically to make sure it is still in readiness condition, and, if need be, knowing how to use the weapon system when ordered. So far in my Naval career, I have gone to places that many kids that grow up in New Lenox have never seen. I have been through multiple states including Virginia, Texas, Arizona, and Ohio; I now currently live in San Diego, California. When it comes to deployments in the Navy, I have seen much beyond the United States. During this last deployment, which I have just returned home from, I saw Hawaii, Japan, and Guam. Unfortunately, with COVID still active in the world today, we were very limited on our port visits this year. My ship had talks of visiting other countries such as Australia, Thailand, Singapore, and even the Philippines. While it would have been amazing to see all these countries, I now look forward to the next deployment.

You may be thinking, “Going on deployment, especially in these times, must be scary.” From my perspective, deployment was not that bad, just boring. Repeating the same routine and seeing the same coworkers everyday without being able to go home or see family members does get tiring and can take its toll on a person mentally. The military does have its negatives, but so does every other job. I’ll be honest; I wanted to quit right away when I arrived to my first ship. No friends, no family, and not picking up the job right away made me question I ever enlisted in the first place. But the lessons I learned back home in New Lenox and at LWW pushed me through the hardest time in my life. And I now enjoy my job and the people I get to work with every day.

The one piece I hope you all take from me is this: where you end up may not be where you see yourself in the future, but make the most of it. Life is hard; ask anyone in your life older than you. I will tell you it always gets better. No matter the obstacle, you can weather that storm. Be the Warrior you are.