I Would Not Be Who I Am Today Without My 20 Years Of Service.
I served right out of high school because I wanted a better life for myself and America. I knew that I would someday serve our Country when I was just a kid. Many have served in my family; my father and uncle were drafted in Vietnam, my brother served in the Army, and my oldest son served in Kuwait and Iraq.
I grew up feeling a sense of duty to America and wanted to be part of this brotherhood.
That is why I serve.
I remember landing in Kuwait in mid-Jan 2003, the tip of the Spear leading up to the Iraq Invasion. We ate MREs three meals a day until we came in contact with an Air Force Company. They gave us some hot food and updated us on what was happening with the outside world.
We constantly got moved around and were living out of our duffle bag. We helped settle in the Aussies, Brits, and other military US personnel. After two long months of waiting and wondering what would happen, we finally got word the war was kicking off.
On Day 2 of the ground war, we loaded up in five-ton trucks and deuce and a half and went north into Iraq. Our company was tasked to secure Cedar 1, a massive fuel station, to help refuel the war effort. We all worked to improve our fighting positions and secure the FOB with little to no sleep and no showers for over two months. But we were all brothers, bleed, cried, and worked together.
Several weeks later, two Special Forces officers needed a platoon to go further north to patrol a city and quell the violence. We were called to move again. We made it to the city, and everything got quiet. The killing and looting then stopped. We conducted patrols for 72 hours nonstop and helped the leaders get control of the city.
We learned a lot about ourselves being pushed to our physical and mental limits, becoming a Band of Brothers. We learned to depend on each other to protect our lives, and in return, we forged a bond of brotherhood. When we gave it our all, there was always more to give.
Looking back on my 20 years of military service and two deployments, I would not be the man I am today without these experiences and my brothers.