May 11, 2020 3 min read

Name
Dustin L.

Branch
United States Army

Rank
Sergeant

Status
Veteran

MOS (job/function)
11B - Infantry

Did you deploy?
Yes , 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, in Wardak province, Afghanistan.

What led you to the military?
Be apart of something greater than myself and to have a lifelong brotherhood and support system.

What is the single most important lesson you learned while serving?
I learned how to become a leader of not just men but a leader to a group who knows the chance of them not coming back home is real.

What is the most memorable moment from your time in service?
On my first Combat Tour I was 18 years old and as green as they come, an Army Ranger out on patrol in Ramadi with my platoon threw me in his HMMVV and said your coming with us!

You ask why?

Well because Army Rangers are pure badasses and if you aren’t a Ranger and do an op with them it’s the closest thing to heaven on earth.

How has the military helped you grow personally and professionally?
The military gave me the tools to adapt and overcome in any situation and also the leadership skills to take into the civilian workforce to be a tentative and quick learning employee where most without military experience struggle with daunting task and taking orders.

If you could tell the world anything you want, what would you say? Why?
We have the smartest minds in uniform and to never forget that. Because people see a uniform and don’t think about the knowledge that goes with that and overlook active duty and veterans for certain positions or task.

What’s the dumbest / most cliche thing you’ve heard someone say in the military?
The dumbest thing said would be that only infantry guys see real combat , the most cliche thing I’ve ever heard is that all Infantry ( grunts ) fight whenever they go to a bar.

Is there anything else you’d like to add that wasn’t previously covered?
As a combat veteran I feel certain personal skills come along with that experience and not all of those skills are negative, civilians and other military members need to understand not every combat veteran is broken or crazy, everyone heals in a different way. We need to stick together in combat and in healing!

If you could go back in time and talk with yourself before you joined, what would you say? Why?
Don’t get out , embrace the suck and make a career out of this for yourself and your family

If you could tell the average civilian one thing, what would it be? Why?
Start thanking veterans and active duty members , we are and always will Be the reason you have the rights and luxury you enjoy on a daily basis.

What’s been the most unexpected challenged you’ve faced since leaving the military?
The most challenging for me was adjusting to civilian life and employment. As an infantrymen you are not taught certain skills that can be carried over into the workforce and it took me months to find something I could actually do and with a company that would train me to be able to provide for my family.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?
The Army taught me a lot of things. I’ve carried almost all of them into the civilian world and have prospered from them. Don’t let what you learn in the military go to waste... it is instilled in us for a reason. Use what you know to assist other veterans / active duty service members on the daily battle of mental health issues... we lose too many veterans at home. No one service member is better then the other no matter Rank, MOS, or race. We have to stick beside each other at home like we did in combat.

If you or someone you know are interested in sharing your story of service, please head over to our easy-to-use form to share your story with Combat Flags today. It's pretty simple... be creative and share your story. >>


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