If a Hollywood producer tried to pitch Jonny Kim’s life story for an action adventure movie, it would probably get turned down for being too incredible.
A shy Korean-American kid decides to enlist in the Navy straight out of high school. He makes it through BUD/s training and onto SEAL Team 3. He completes over 100 missions as a SEAL working as a combat medic, sniper, navigator and point man on two deployments.
He’s awarded a Silver Star and Bronze Star with Combat "V."
But it’s during his first combat deployment that he sees his best friend get shot. Feeling helpless, he decides at that moment he wants to go into medicine.
He serves one more deployment, then gets a degree in mathematics and completes his medical training at Harvard. Harvard!
He lives happily ever after with a beautiful wife and two adorable kids.
But wait! It gets better!
Then he applies to become an astronaut — gets accepted, of course — and becomes the first Korean-American astronaut who may end up on missions to the moon and possibly the first manned explorations to Mars.
Is that not amazing?
Kim was also selected to be a Tillman Scholar in 2012. On his page on the Pat Tillman Foundation website, there’s a quote from Jonny: “The military for me was the basis of teamwork. That same concept is found in medicine and saving lives.”
We heartily agree.
About serving in uniform he said, “Going into the Navy was the best decision I ever made in my life because it completely transformed that scared boy who didn't have any dreams to someone who started to believe in himself.”
Here’s Jonny describing his journey from the SEALs to medicine.
And here he describes the very moment he found out he was accepted into NASA’s program and tried to avoid making a scene.
Kim’s life is truly inspirational — at any step of the way. To be honest, it’s not all that crazy to imagine Dr. Jonathan Kim in Washington D.C. at some point. Lord knows, our nation could use more leaders with his kind of experience and outlook.