Lao was born and raised in Philippines. Growing up, he played lawn tennis at the varsity level. He moved to America when he was 20 and received a degree in Psychology. Lao served four years of active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard before joining the Navy Reserves as an Operations Specialist. He earned two master’s degrees in Diplomacy and Project Management, and he was working as a civilian as a Battle Watch supervisor in Bahrain when he was mobilized to support Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group Forward in Kuwait. It was on this deployment that he was in a military vehicle rollover accident which left him with a TBI and blind in one eye. He has since been medically retired and lives in the Philippines with his wife. His short—term goals are to continue his treatments, and to use the GI bill to take up a cooking class for therapeutic purposes. Long term, he’d like to be involved with veteran issues full—time. “I am so grateful for my second life, and the ability to enjoy it,” says Lao.

Photo of Sklar Lao

Sklar Lao

Retired Navy Operations Specialist 2nd Class

Age: 33

Current Command/Position: Retired

Current Hometown: Makati City, Philippines

Disability: Partial blindness and TBI, sustained during deployment