Growing up in a military family, Val got an early dose of wanderlust and exposure to different cultures. He was born in upstate New York but left at the age of five. First to the desert of California, then to the land of Gundam and Dragon ball Z (Japan for the poor souls who don't know), then back to the beaches and bays of California, then to the jungle and humidity of Guam where he graduated high school. Val returned to California after Guam and graduated from the University of Redlands with a BA in Psychology. U of R was also where he found acting. He was cast in the Fall production of the House of Blue Leaves and two other student productions before graduating and moving to Los Angeles to attend acting school.
He joined the Loft Studio while working as a hawker at the movie theater on City Walk. After two years of acting and playing the drums in a band, Val decided on a different life and moved to Oceanside where he worked at the San Diego Union Tribune before heading back to school for his first MA degree. He decided upon Israel due to his heritage and early love of studying history and culture. He ended up eventually spending three years in Israel altogether and obtained two Master degrees. After returning to the U.S., he did multiple internships in journalism and think tanks before entering the U.S. State Department where he has been ever since.
George Washington's Secret Six
by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger
A Moveable Feast
by Ernest Hemingway
I finished making my first chainmail shirt at age 22.