John Kilby was born and raised in the Baltimore Area and enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves after graduating. He went on a deployment with fellow teammate John Pignone to Kosovo in 2002, as part of the 4th Civil Affairs Group. This was followed by a deployment to Ar Ramadi, Iraq in 2004, and back again in 2006. Following this last deployment, and one too many IED’s, he had suffered a back injury and had difficulty with TBI/PTSD (traumatic brain injury/post traumatic stress disorder). After seeking treatment and learning to manage his condition, he decided to go back to the Corps and set for himself the goal of running a long distance Ironman Triathlon.
John earned his eagle scout before graduating high school and still joins his troop when he can. His love of the boy scouts is rooted in the fun of sharing the outdoors with extraordinary young men and passing on his knowledge of camping, nature, and the most important skill of leadership. Riding motorcycles and jogging are two of his other favorite pastimes. He loves the freeing feeling of being on a motorcycle, much like being on a jet ski, and he can share the experience with his wife, Katie. There is excitement and danger but using common sense, proper training, and proper safety equipment all make rides an exhilarating experience. He’s currently riding a 2004 Triumph Tiger 955i. The upright riding style reduces stress on his back and is adaptable enough for his 6’5” frame and varying road conditions out in the wilderness.
He is a Gunnery Sergeant in the USMC Reserve currently serving as a member of the G-9 in the 2nd Civil Affairs Group. He’s just coming off a year long assignment as the Group Gunnery Sergeant, a senior enlisted Billet in the command. John plays the trumpet (bugle) and the piano. He was classically trained as a trumpet player and learned piano while working at a music store and studying classical composition. He mainly plays now for the practice as the experience helps him focus when he’s having PTSD issues. He is occasionally called to play the bugle for various military events and funeral honors. He finds it a true honor every time he gets the call to play for a service member.
In 1988 he got his first computer, a Tandy 1000, which led to a love of video games and learning computer systems, including writing his first BASIC programs. His early video game preferences were on the Nintendo Entertainment System and he loved role playing games, like Dragon Warrior, where you could build your characters and plan attacks on a great adventure. He later got into strategy games and now mostly plays games with great storylines like Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Assassin’s Creed for the historical references.
His best job ever was during a deployment in 2001 to Nicaragua. The Army was conducting humanitarian projects throughout a poor mountainous region in the middle of the country. He was the face of operations in maintaining relationships with their community contacts. As a go-getter and speaker of Spanish, he got to do most of the work and represent the United States. He enjoyed going to parties, playing soccer with the kids, and even spending time with the Nicaraguan Army Band.
His current job, working in IT for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the Ethics Office, keeps him very busy but he has a great team of coworkers that all support each other. This is the same thing he loves about team Take Point Now. Getting to work with like minded people that are doing amazing things for military veterans.