Since I can remember, I've been fascinated by what physics and astronomy have shown us of the universe. As a 6th grader I mailed JPL asking for information about the Voyager project, and to my great glee I received a thick package of images of Jupiter and Saturn. Many years later, also to my great glee, JPL hired me. In between I studied Physics, Philosophy and German in college courtesy of an Air Force ROTC scholarship. Afterward I served as an officer at Los Angeles Air Force Station working on a space defense project. When my commitment was up I came to JPL and have been there ever since (15 years now). My jobs there have all been in one kind of systems engineering or another: boost vehicle integration with the Mars Observer Spacecraft, ground software for the Cassini Mission, flight operations for Deep Space 1, and now spacecraft system engineering for Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.