My name is Caleb Schuster. I have five brothers and one sister. Being the second eldest in a large family has taught me a lot and helped me to grow. I was home schooled up until the middle of my sophomore year of high school. I loved the flexibility of scheduling; the flexibility also instilled self-discipline and motivation to take online classes.
Four days after I turned 17, I was raising my right hand and swearing to protect my country from all enemies, foreign and domestic. I completed basic training between my junior and senior year. Joining the Ohio Army National Guard has been a mixed experience. There are times when I get a little disheartened when I talk to a friend who is about to finish his or her bachelors degree, and I am still working on my associates degree. I have to remind myself that when I finish, I will have no school debts and can truly say that I did it myself and I did not have mommy and daddy pay my way through school. I also have a wealth of real world experience and knowledge.
Shortly after finishing high school, I attended a one-year Christian academy to help focus my life and make sure that I started my life on the right track. I got only four months into World View Academy before getting called to active duty in Iraq. I was deployed for a whole year. I have also been deployed to Mississippi for the floods and riots. Between deployments, activations, and yearly training, I was a Cuyahoga Community College student off campus at Cuyahoga Valley Career Center taking paramedic classes.
When I was about 12 years old, I really wanted to be a cop. I would take police practice tests home from the library and then go through them to see how well I would do if I took the real thing. I talked to a few cops and I would ask them what part of their job they liked and what the worst parts were. All the police officers I talked to told me the same thing. They would look me in the eyes and say, "Kid, don't be a cop be a firefighter". So I started to look into firefighting, and the more I learned the more I liked it. By age 15, I knew that I wanted to be a firefighter. Ever since then, just about everything that I have done has been a calculated decision to increase my chances of getting a full time job on a fire department. When I was in Basic Training, our drill sergeants were going around asking all the new recruits why they joined the Army. Most of the kids were there for college money or getting away from situations at home. When they got to me, I answered, "Because I love my country and to get 20 bonus points on a civil service test."
Today, I am a happily married man of just over three months, and just past my twenty-second birthday. I am a volunteer firefighter with Hinckley Fire and Rescue, and a paramedic with a transportation company in Cleveland. I live in Brunswick and I’m trying to go to school full time. I enjoy physical activities out in nature, breathing fresh air, and drinking lots of water. I like to watch movies, and I also really like to listen to film soundtracks from such composers as John Williams and Hans Zimmer.