GO Local 209:
Stories from DMedia 2: Writing for the Media
Humans of SJDC: James Greer
By Fadi Georgies
It was a clear October day in Bangor Navy Base, Washington. The 23-year-old Petty Officer Third Class, JD Greer, was going about his daily routine in the dry dock.
As JD explains, the dry dock is when they take the submarine out of the water for maintenance. His task for today was to remove the aft hose which is used for things like oil, waste, water, air, and other things the submarine may need, a task he has done many times.
The hoses are huge, and the pressure they host is massive, and before undoing the hoses they must be empty of any extra pressure, JD started undoing the hose not knowing there was still close to 450 psi in one of them, so he went down on one knee and undid the first part of the fitting, and heard a loud boom. The next thing he remembers seeing is the fluorescent cold light hanging from the hospital room ceiling.
When he went on one knee that day, he didn’t know what was waiting for him nor did he know that it was going to change his life forever. When he joined the navy, his goal was to serve his country as his father and grandfathers did before him.
The explosion would change his life forever, in every aspect. He would not be the same and his life would not be the same again. The hardest part, according to JD is not being able to remember a lot of things.
"It is very painful losing your memories like this," JD shared.
And keeping up with the doctors’ appointments is another pain JD must deal with but for him who has the winner mentality, he embraced the change and started building his life from scratch.
Going back to civilian life after a few years in the navy and with a T.B.I (Traumatic Brain Injury) was not an easy feat for JD who was determined to restart his life, with the support of his family. He would go on to found and start his own moving company, and with his record deal for over twelve years he was able to provide for his family. But he always had his education plans on hold and at one point he decided it is now time for him to go back to school and pursue this old dream, so he can improve and advance his music career.
JD knew he wanted to be a musician since he was sixteen, “music has always been there for me” adds JD who got the chance to be on stage with MC Hammer in front of audiences of more than 65,000 people.
His encounter with Hammer has been documented by MC Hammer himself on his blog. Hammer describes his encounter with JD saying, “JD is the last of a special breed. A good man.”
JD was invited to sing the national anthem at NFL games on several occasions. When asked if he gets nervous singing in front of a huge crowd JD replied, “I just block out the noise and focus on my voice and singing, that’s what I learned from being on stage and touring with MC Hammer.”
JD spends long hours in his studio at home creating music and records, sometimes he would publish that on his YouTube channel and on Spotify.
And even though JD had learned how to record music from Hammer during the times he spent with him in the studio, but still, he is continuing his education and is preparing to transfer to a university to earn his bachelor’s degree in audio and video production.
And he chose Delta College as a starting point in his learning journey because he thought it is the best fit for him to start earning credits and be able to transfer later.
Also, he enjoys the classes in the Digital Media program saying, “the resources we have access to in Delta College are amazing, we get to practice and experiment on a professional-grade gear, and the support we get from our professors and lab techs makes the learning journey more productive and we also have fun when we produce and work on our assignments.”
JD commutes to classes twice a week from his house in Manteca, while having the option to attend online or just simply to watch a recording later is very convenient, but JD admits that what he gains from the in-person class is a priceless experience and it is totally worth the one hour James spends behind the wheel on the days he commutes to college.
“In class, you get to meet other people and interact and collaborate with them on some projects or assignments. It is what a department like ours represents and requires you to be a hands-on student, and when I come to the class lab, I get to practice with professional-grade equipment and I get to talk to experienced people and learn and give back by sharing my knowledge too,” adds James.
He laughs when asked about his experience as an older student. JD whose son is an SJDC student as well, explains, “there is nothing wrong with going back to school and continuing to learn, and being older as a matter of fact is a gift. I think I have a lot to offer, I have a lot that I have acquired over the years that I might be able to share with younger students. And just to be back at school and get my brain moving at this age that I am at right now is important, and that is why I want to continue to learn”. What could have been for most a massive obstacle was for JD just a turning point in his life and living with T.B.I made him more determined to fight back and what a better exercise for the brain than continuing his education.
What would have been for most a huge obstacle was for JD just a turning point that made him embrace the change that came his way and made him an inspiration to anyone aspiring to change their lives and do what others might seem impossible. This is JD Greer, a veteran, a family man, a musician, and a human of SJDC.
Our audio stories are a collection of history told from the perspective of our students and their interviewees as the pandemic hit during spring 2020, through the summer and fall, and into our current phase of vaccines and reopenings.
Our Go Local 209: Business Edition series specifically looks at the impact of COVID-19 on small local businesses. Digital Media students coordinated interviews with business owners to learn how they were affected. Thank you to all the local business owners who made time to sit down with our students and allowed them to tell your stories.
Please forgive us if the audio quality isn't what you have come to expect from KWDC. In early spring 2020 we went on spring break and we did not come back. Our Digital Media students did not have access to their usual lab spaces or department equipment. Instead of focusing on audio quality, we wanted them to use their voices and share their stories.
GO Local 209: Business Edition
A look at how Local Entrepreneurs have experienced the pandemic
This is a multimedia storytelling project about how our local community coped through the COVID -19 pandemic.
Listen in and hear students share their thoughts at 3 am during the spring of 2020 when we couldn't make sense of what was happening, our sleep schedules were off and we struggled to find motivation. Or watch a video where students were encouraged to find creative ways to document the things they were experiencing.
Vaccines and The reopening
San Joaquin Delta College looks empty without students as most classes are online after COVID-19 on April 18, 2021, Stockton CA. (Photo/LM)