11B1P / 68W30
Time in Service
Did you deploy? If yes, where and in support of which operation.
Yes. 90 - 91 Desert Shield / Desert Storm 2004 - 2006 OIF
What inspired you to join the military?
It was just a foregone conclusion that I would join the Army. Family friend says that I was born in fatigues.
What is the single most important lesson you’ve learned while serving?
There are so many. Keep improving, get the job done, no excuses. One more mile!
What is your most memorable moment or time during your service? Why?
OIF deployment. As a medic I couldn't have asked for a better war deployment. I grew far more as a medic both civilian side and military doing the job in Iraq. We did every type of mission except direct force on force combat and as a medic assigned to a combat arms unit, I got to do it all. The most memorable time during the deployment was working on a Iraqi civilian who had been car-jacked during the hajj to Karbala. He had every injury medics train for except for open head injuries. He was so grievously wounded he depleted the supplies in my self designed medic vest. On-lookers were chanting and singing our praises. Celebratory gun fire was going on and I never heard it. The platoon was doing an awesome job in helping keep the area secure and help my treatment. Three other CLS's were helping keep the gentleman stable. As a civilian EMT- I, I knew how to treat and care very well. However, I missed a single sign that still sticks with me today. He had an open chest wound, high on his right side. "I can't breath". He said over and over again and it never got through to my brain. I should have darted his chest but did not. We got him on the medevac bird but he died enroute to Baghdad. I see the sounds, the smells and the intense environment still today.
How has the military helped you grow personally and professionally?
The Army has helped me identify my shortcomings and weakness and work on them, to continually seek improvement.
If you could tell the world anything you want, what would you say? Why?
America your veterans, most often will go back and do it all over again. We loved what we did and very proud of our service, memories, wounds and disabilities. Is it too much to ask that our post service care and treatment isn't first rate without more drama and trauma?
What’s the dumbest / most cliche thing you’ve heard someone say in the military?
"Adjust your shot group paratrooper!"
Is there anything else you’d like to add that wasn’t previously covered?
Yes, can PT belts in a combat zones, please go away??
If you could go back in time and talk with yourself before you joined, what would you say? Why?
The only thing I would change in that talk to myself, enlist as a medic from the get go and go to 82nd as a Airborne Medic! Instead of waiting till after leaving active duty and re-enlisting in the TXARNG.
If you could tell the average civilian one thing, what would it be? Why?
Enlist at least for one enlistment. It will change you in ways you could never imagine. You will come to appreciate our awesome country in far more deeper levels.
What’s been the most unexpected challenged you’ve faced since leaving the military?
Figuring out what I want to be when I grow up. At 48 years of age, I'm still working on that one!
What else would you like to share?
Even today with a beat up and really aching body with the scars and surgeries, my service opened so many doors for me It has pushed me to new levels of ventures and adventures. Even though my children can never serve due to health problems, they understand service and love of country. They are fierce American patriots. Moving to Fort Bragg just two weeks after being married to my bride, we learned a lot of each other and learned quickly to lean on each other. We just celebrated 29 years of marriage. Our faith in God and the lessons we learned taught us to keep the mission first and pushing forward through the difficult challenges; it has made us a stronger couple with awesome kids. As much as I hurt these days, I'd gladly do it all again.
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We all survived but what stands out is that by the time I was 1/4 of the way through my deployment I would hear the launch and be able to tell if I had to run or not. It was very strange being able to tell where the mortar would land by the sound of the launch. After getting past that first 1/4 of the deployment I felt no fear.