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Marine Corps to Nursing

Mario Preston

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.

When asked about his job at the prison, he laughed, “Having the military experience had prepared me well for tough assignments. Being a big guy was also helpful.”

Switching to Home Health Nursing later, Mario gravitated towards seniors, particularly to veterans. He told me, “I never knew any of my grandparents. Being with older patients helped me to experience something I’d missed in my childhood. Spending time with them made me feel like being with family.”

Liking the senior community model, before coming to LCG, Mario worked at two other companies building good teams. He always looked for employees with exceptional ability to care.

“LCG was always on my radar,” Mario told me. “When the opportunity to work here appeared, I immediately grabbed it. After being here for just one month, it felt like a year! Great place and people!”

What’s his prime goal to achieve here? “Convince the residents to utilize Telemedicine. It’s a great system to keep residents safe.”

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