Soldier Life

the day i left for AfghanistanI remember September 11 2001. I remember exactly where I was and what i was doing. I remember not being able to do anything because like nearly everyone i knew, i was in shock! That passed and I got motivated. I first joined the Army in 2002 and went off to training. I was going to be a pilot and had always wanted to be one so I was getting two dreams. Due to unforeseeable circumstances I was discharged with an honorable but a hardship discharge so I could take care of my family. Never a hard choice for me family comes first and they needed me home. It took several years but I finally made that dream a reality when I was able to re-enter service in 2009.

Though I’d lost my chance to be a pilot, I’m still able to work on the Bird i wanted to fly the CH-47F Chinook. It is an amazing machine and I love my job, flying is amazing. After training and working my way through school I found myself stationed at Ft Campbell home of the legendary 101st Airborne Division and assigned to the largest Combat Aviation Brigade in the world. Shortly after arriving in 2010 I was deployed to catch up with the unit in Kandahar. That was a major learning experience. i spent Christmas and New Years over there and messaged my family as often as i could. For the most part there was nothing but a lot of work and not too much else. I missed my family and the closeness of friends. The one major thing I had that kept me going and filled my down time was the dream of becoming a published author and thankfully, I’ll have the same distraction when I go again in the fall of 2012.

The first time I went I was a part of the maintenance company D co 6th Battalion, 101 CAB. We did phase maintenance, build up and tear down of arriving and departing aircraft and supported the flight company as much as we could. I never really left the safety of the base and so don’t feel like one of the real hero’s that went out and risked their lives for our country, but I did do my job and my part as best i could. I was promoted there and received an army achievement medal for my service short as it was. When i returned home I focused on getting my book done, but also furthering my military career. I mainly wanted to get to the flight company before the next deployment and go as a crew chief. After a few months of hard work and pushing my nose where it probably didn’t belong I was picked up for the flight company and moved to B co still with 6th Battalion.

I am now a qualified crew chief and proud member of the Pachyderm’s. It was a long and sometimes frustrating road to get where I am now but worth it. Many things have changed. In addition to flying and the new company I was also chosen as a lay member of the clergy for my church which I love. The members here are fantastic and a true inspiration to me. So needless to say more…life’s been a little crazy around here for the past year.

We are now in the final stages of a long deployment to Afghanistan in the fall and all the prep that goes into that. Loading out, getting our new uniforms and items issued. Making sure above all our helicopters are ready to go. Making sure our weapons are prepped and also good to go. Lastly and most importantly making sure our families are fully prepared and have all they need to survive without us for the next 9-12 months. I have been trying to take photos and make memories that will see us through. For me there has been one additional task, making time to be an author and write as well as prepare for the release of my first novel the Transition man.

I am proud to serve my country and keep my family safe. I am most proud to be a soldier and strive to be a professional in my field of work. Putting on my uniform and rolling out to go to work is an exciting moment everyday. I can’t say enough about my wife and kids they have kept up with me all these years and support me even now when I am still trying to have more dreams come true. Love you guys. So from this soldier to you all, God bless, and be happy, I’ll be out there doing what I can to keep you free and safe.

 

first ride on a chinook-tile

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