TAYLORS, S.C. (WSPA) – Marine veteran Craig Wiggins joined the service with an open contract.
“Which means the Marine Corps could have given me any job that they wanted, but my ASVAB scores were decent enough that they gave me calibration technician out of boot camp,” Wiggins told 7NEWS.
That route worked out for Wiggins because he said he wanted to go into electronics.
“My job was to work on AV AUX equipment that directly supported the Marine Corps aircraft,” said Wiggins.
His roles continued to change over the years, from Marine Corps officer to Communications Officer.
“And then I went out to 9th com battalion at Camp Pendleton, where we deployed to Afghanistan,” Wiggins shared. “We ran all the it infrastructure in Afghanistan for regional command southwest.”
Wiggins said the environment was very high-pressure.
“Our whole job was to support the warfighters. Right? So if their radios didn’t work, we had to fix up,” Wiggins said. “If their satellite communication didn’t work, we had to fix it. So it was indirect pressure from them because they’re the ones fighting and we’re 100% supporting them.”
After that, Wiggins went to Frankfurt, Germany as a Marine security guard.
“My role was to become an inspecting officer to fly to U.S. embassies and consulates and do inspections on the Marines there,” said Wiggins.
He said he loved it.
“That was just awesome flying around getting, I mean, who’s gonna go out and see these areas on their own?” Wiggins explained. “So I got to get paid to go out there, learn about the culture, understand, get to meet new people.”
After 20 years as a Marine, Wiggins retired.
He said the transition into civilian life was rough.
“[I] Went through some counseling, which I think is really great because they did a lot of cool things to say, ‘Hey, you’re in a fight or flight mode. And this is how you get out of that cycle,'” he shared.
Wiggins said he felt inspired and wanted to do that for other veterans, so he created his own non-profit called “Heel and Toe 4 Heroes.“
“Our mission statement is to support veterans, veteran’s families and veteran organizations, bring veterans together to the race track and support veteran small businesses,” Wiggins added.
He explained it means getting out to race tracks and making a presence.
So far, Wiggins said it’s been an amazing experience to watch it grow.
“We’re not even a year later, we’ve already the BMW performance center supported us with a driving event,” Wiggins said. “We’re able to raise some money for the foundation. We’ve got a race car that we’re in the process of building for veterans.”
Wiggins said he has big dreams to officially get racing in April of 2024.
Craig Wiggins, Thank You for Your Service.
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