John Harding is an agent with the CIA.
In his own words:
"How I got to doing what I do is a long story. I spent time in uniform, and six years in special ops. In younger years growing up my old man and me had to travel a lot. He whipped me good and often. Only thing was... I got to liking it... not so much the beating as the pain. When I hit fourteen we lived in an old shack of a place near the Mahoning River in Leavittsburg, Ohio. My Pa came home drunk deciding it was time for another beat down. It was. I broke his jaw and then his arm. While he lay screaming in pain I kicked him right in the nuts as hard as I could. Pa quieted down then.
"I took what money he had, some clothes, and his car. Heading South, I found a place down in Texas called Plano where I hired on at a fast food joint. I stayed in the back of an old man's junkyard. Pete, the junkyard owner took a liking to me. He helped me get a driver's license and birth certificate. That's when I became John Harding and a very young eighteen year old. Pete told me the service would be a good place to get my GED and some money saved. The Marines needed a few good men. They took me anyway. Nothing much was happening back in 1997; but I went Recon and saw some neat foreign places: Kenya, Kosovo, and the Philippines. It turned out I had a penchant for learning languages and the Marines began training me in a few helpful ones... helpful for them. Nine eleven hit about the time my four years were up. At nineteen I was in Afghanistan. Being a vet by the time they started doing special ops in Iraq I thought it best to hone the only damn skills I'd managed to attain.
"Now I'm out, sort of, and free lancing with odd jobs. I tried getting into the extreme cage stuff but the referee was slow stopping my first fight and I killed a guy. It was bad publicity for the sport so they told me I needed a cooling off period. Tommy saw the fight. He recruited me. Tommy Sands grew up in East LA. He's the guy Barrack Obama said his grandma used to hide from on the street. Tommy and me hit it off right away. He's smooth with the side bets. We have an understanding. He knows the pain don't bother me much. I know he don't mind watching me take some. The impromptu money fights are more my style anyway. It allows me the leeway for my other enterprises."
It is pretty nice when the character does all the work of explaining himself - especially when he is dead on.