I’m Matthew Currin, founder of Convene Communities. I’m a 45-year-old retired Marine Corps Helicopter Pilot, former helicopter EMS Pilot, and current Team Penske NASCAR pilot. I am a husband, a father of three, a Christian and a soccer coach who figured it out on the fly!!
My story has been forged by many lessons learned throughout the duration of my career, but there was one night in 2001 that ultimately changed my life and became the motivation for my life’s mission. One night during routine shipboard training off Marine Corps Airstation New River, NC, I was the lead pilot of one of two CH-46E helicopters. Due to ‘human error’ in the second aircraft, that helicopter impacted the water, killing three Marines; I lost a good friend and my combat air crewman.
I would later learn that a similar mishap had taken place in a different training exercise a few years prior. Had knowledge from that first accident been properly transferred after the experience, the 2001 training crash could have been prevented.
So Why Convene?
I learned a long time ago that I do not know everything; in fact I do not know anything. I can remember turning to my father when I was young to ask for advice because I knew my father had experience. As I continued to grow I realized in my Marine Corps career that it was so important to learn from others with more experience as I had with my father. My Marine Corps Squadron did an incredible job of bringing up their young. When I was headed for Afghanistan in 2001 I did so with a comfort that I had been well trained to protect my country. Not only did I have great confidence in my training, but I knew that I had successfully trained the co-pilots that would be flying in the seat next to me.
Training and learning to make good decisions is everything.
In life we start out as a rookie at everything. When I was young learning how to play baseball I can remember practicing situations all the time. If the ball comes to you with a runner on second and third and you are playing centerfield; where are you going to throw the ball? There are so many variables that go into that answer that we would practice this over and over. Life is no different.
Sharing our experiences and knowledge is one way that allows others to learn from different situations. I sometimes learned the hard way in marriage, parenting, coaching and being a Christian.
I can specifically remembering when my wife told me we were going to have our first child. I dove into books so deep that I think I could have delivered our son single handedly. I also remember the books not answering the simple questions. For these answers I turned to my parents and my friends who were the EXPERTS- they were already parents.
Convene brings us together to share our experiences in specific communities. It allows you -the expert- to share your experiences to help others.