David Bonilla on VA's Borne the Battle podcast

On this week’s Borne the Battle, Marine Veteran David Bonilla talks about his journey to becoming a foley artist and audio engineer.

David Bonilla grew up in El Monte, California, where, as a child, he had the opportunity to be involved with a few film projects. Through his mother’s connections, he gained both experience in the film industry and an interest in filming and directing. He initially had no plans to join the military, but when a recruiter offered to buy him lunch, his life found a new direction.

Bonilla discusses his deployments overseas to Baghdad and his position as part of the logistics team during the Gulf War. There, he experienced what it was really like to be in the field and understand what a near death experience was like.

After completing his service and later a college degree, Bonilla landed a position at Solar City, a company under Elon Musk. While working at Solar City, Bonilla’s assistant noticed how he was struggling with panic attacks and helped guide him to VA. This led him to VR&E, where he found purpose and goals in life.

Now finished with his military path, Bonilla returned to his early love of the film industry and began studying audio by using his GI Bill benefits. He started working as a foley artist, eventually winning an Emmy for his work on Disney’s Eleanor of Avalor.

In this episode, Bonilla discusses:

  • His experiences in the military
  • Working in the film industry
  • Working for Raytheon
  • His time at a company under Elon Musk
  • His projects as a sound engineer, including Disney’s Eleanor of Avalor

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By Michelle Cannon is a podcast volunteer with VA’s Digital Media Engagement team. She graduated from Liberty University with a master’s in Professional Writing.

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Published on Sep. 20, 2021

Estimated reading time is 2.1 min.

Views to date: 301

One Comment

  1. Sandra Lee Lee September 23, 2021 at 10:48 am

    Sempfi David I to was a Marine. I did not go over seas when I was in because it was during Veit Nam at the time. They did not have the women in the Corp going over seas at that time. I worked at 29 Palms and went to school at Camp La June. I still feel the Corps in me. It never goes away. I also made a big mistake and got Married to another Marine. So I got out early. No I was preg. But I to use the GI Bill and put myself through College and have an AS degree in Data Processing.
    I have remarried and have been with this one for 45 years. He was in the Army and his sister was in the National Guard. So all of us in this house hold are Vets. To me all have to stick together. Thanks for your service too.

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