FORT WAYNE, Ind. (FORT WAYNE'S NBC) - Coaching high school boys basketball at Snider was Mile Harrington's normal until 2017.
That year, Harrington walked off the court searching for a new career path.
And that's when he joined the U.S. Army.
Harrington says coaching basketball helped the transition.
"Being able to teach and grow young men through athletics I think is truly rich," Harrington said.
For two years, he coached under Snider's Jeremy Rauch.
"I don't know if he played much basketball in high school, but he knew kids. He knew what it took to be successful and how hard you had to play and how tough you had to be," Rauch said.
That toughness he taught kids showed when Harrington joined the service.
"I love coaching and I miss it every day and I genuinely mean that," Harrington said.
But he wouldn't change the path that lead him to being a U.S. Army Sergeant.
"It was the right decision at right time for me to grow myself and utilize it for me, as not just as a career, but grow as a man, both husband and hopefully father," Harrington said.
While his soon-to-be wife, Mallory Belote, is thankful for the man he has become.
"He is the definition of someone who would put anyone before himself. What he does for his country is selfless alone," Belote said.
Harrington spent nine months in Kuwait and understands the sacrifice it takes for military members on the front lines.
"Thinking of my future spouse, makes me think of all those spouses that have kissed those significant others goodbye," Harrington said. "They are our heroes. They really are."