Clovis native Leroy Weeden is a published author of two fiction books and a war veteran, even though he hasn’t yet reached the age of 30.
Weeden graduated from Clovis High School in 2005, worked his way up within Walmart, then decided to enter the military.
He is currently in the Army based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Wash., but visits his mother in Clovis during the summer and the holidays.
What was it that made you interested in joining the military?
My father was in the military and he fought in World War II, then my sister used to be military until she got married, and her husband is in the military. He’s in the Air Force. I have a couple cousins that are also military; they’re Army and Air Force. Even some of my closest friends that I grew up with are either in the Army or Marines. I’ve been around military people a lot growing up. When I was a kid, my dad was telling me war stories from back in the day. When I was 9 years old, I wanted to be a soldier.
Where has the military taken you so far?
I’ve only been on one deployment, so I’ve been to different parts of Afghanistan. I’ve been to training in different states around the United States.
What are your future plans?
I go to school for business and psychology. My goal is to own my own business. I’ve been taking training classes. My plan in the future is I want to expand and maybe one day have my own publishing or music production business or company.
What is your favorite part about your being in the military?
What I like about my job is I kind of get to follow in my dad’s footsteps. I like the training. We get to run through some pretty cool training scenarios.
Whenever people see commercials about the military, all they see is the “Call of Duty” stuff, but there’s actually more to it. I get to see it from both sides.
There’s also some pretty cool gear and weapons.
What is your favorite part about writing?
When I was a child growing up, I had a very vivid imagination. Even to this day, whenever I sleep I dream of some of the oddest or craziest stuff. I figured it’d be good use to write about it.
I’ve been writing all these years and I’ve never done anything with it. Right before I deployed, I said when I come back from deployment I’m going to start publishing my work.
Who is your greatest inspiration?
I would say it would have to be my parents.
My father, he’s a lot older, my parents had a 28-year age gap. My dad is from an old-school generation. One thing he always told me was make sure you do what’s right and make something of yourself.
My mom came from a family that wasn’t very successful. She’s from the Philippines and they worked their way up. They had a family business and things got better for them. She always told me make sure you use all your potential the best you can.
Growing up as a kid, we weren’t really exactly the most well-off family, and going through the hard times and seeing that my parents, no matter how bad things were, they had that don’t stop, things will get better attitude.
What is your idea of the perfect vacation?
For the longest time I’ve always wanted to go to Italy and see the sights and meet the people and learn a little more about the culture.
What is your perfect meal?
I’d have to say one of my favorite home-cooked meals my mom made when I was a kid was rice, mashed potatoes and a corn, lima bean and green bean combination with baked pork chops.
What is your favorite movie?
I’m going to have to go with “Ghostbusters 1 and 2.”
— Compiled by CMI staff writer Emily Crowe and edited for length and clarity