AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Using his military experience to inspire and encourage others at a local Crossfit gym is what Navy veteran Eric Ellersick is all about.

“I didn’t want to find myself in a job that I didn’t enjoy. So I thought I would do something bigger than myself,” said Ellersick.

For Washington state native Ellersick, that something bigger was joining the military right out of high school back in 2011.

“I really hadn’t had a whole lot of people in my family in the military and I didn’t see myself being equipped yet to go to college or anything like that,” said Ellersick.

For six years, Ellersick served in the Navy as a corpsman attached to the Marine Corps units.

Ellersick was deployed twice to Southeast Asia.

When he looks back at his military service, Ellersick says the people he served with is something that always sticks out.

“I made friends with people from all walks of life, different parts of the country. The people were just phenomenal. You couldn’t get past that,” said Ellersick.

Ellersick said it was a little bit of an adjustment when it came to post-military life.

“Took some time to really realize that the military was something I did. It wasn’t necessarily who I am and it took some time to get over that but just trying to find myself. I had a great girlfriend at the time who is now my wife. That really helped out a lot,” said Ellersick.

After a few jobs here and there, Ellersick found himself in Amarillo and attending West Texas A&M.

During that time, Ellersick started working out at Crossfit 806.

“It was almost the year mark of being at Crossfit 806 that the owner Kyle Cato asked me if I wanted to be a coach. He saw something in me. I can only attribute it to my time in the military trying to inspire others, motivate those around me and that kind of thing,” said Ellersick.

Ellersick hopes others can learn from his journey, which is to not be afraid to give something a shot.

“You may find something that you never thought was possible if you just take the time to listen and give things an opportunity,” said Ellersick.

Ellersick is currently attending West Texas A&M and said he will be graduating in December with a degree in Business Law and Ethics.