By Les Besser

Born and raised in Jackson, MS, Mario Preston, our Assistant Resident Services Director, came to California after joining the Marines in 1997. Although deployed several times to various foreign countries, including Iraq, his base had remained at Camp Pendleton.

“I loved being a Marine, but eventually I wanted to stay close to my family and began searching for an alternative career,” Mario said. “The care and professional skills displayed by a nurse assisting with my daughter’s birth impressed me so much that I decided to become one.”

Nursing and military are completely different yet have something in common—they both provide service, and that was very important to Mario. After completing the prerequisites, he enrolled and completed Mira Costa College’s nursing program, then worked at Children’s Hospital and the California State Prison in San Diego.