The Purple Heart Janitor

Samuel “Mack” McFall. He’s a decorated war veteran. A Husband of fifty years. A fisherman who can’t eat seafood. Retired Master Sergeant Sam McFall, “Mack” as he’s known by many, has lived a life of challenge and reward. His three purple hearts make him a hero but Mack says his true reward comes from his extended family and the many kids he has mentored and learned from while being a lead custodian at Calaveras High School in Carlsbad, CA.

Mack grew up in the south side of Chicago, one of nine kids raised by a single working mom amidst a world of gangs, drugs, and limited opportunities. Despite not having a father, Mack made the most of childhood and early working life by learning from anyone and anything. His first mentor was a Jewish storeowner who taught him to seize the reigns of his life and explore the world around him. Mack became a people person quickly, employing his gift for listening to build relationships with strangers.

Mack took his love for people and desire to see the world into the Marines. At the age of 17, Mack was already a dad, but one determined to give his children what he didn’t have, a mother and a father. Mack rose through the ranks of the military quickly, gaining respect among his subordinates and commanders. He served through Vietnam and for more than twenty years before retiring and taking on several other jobs as the one thing that scared him was the lack of a commitment.

Mack shares his extraordinary journey with us and his firm belief in using all the “tools of the toolbox.”