In 1975 I joined the military as a 17-year-old right out of high school. I always wanted to be in the military and felt everyone should serve this great country of ours in one way or another.
I served three years as an enlisted man, then received my officer’s commission through the ROTC program. I was a Field Artillery Officer, and later also qualified as a Military Intelligence Officer. I spent the last 20 years of my 33 years of service in the Army Reserves serving as a Military Intelligence Officer at the company, battalion, and division levels.
In 2005 I was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, serving as an Intelligence Officer training Iraqi troops. I served in Iraq for over eleven months. I retired as a Major in 2008 after 33 years of service in the Army and Army Reserves.
I always loved my time in the military, especially the camaraderie with my military colleagues. I always felt, and still feel, an immense feeling of pride in having served. If I could, I would still be in the military in one form or another, but I reached my limit as to amount of time eligible to serve.
To me, serving in the military was a privilege.
If you think about what this country offers to all its citizens, regardless of any problems we may have, it is truly amazing. Everybody wants to come to the United States; those of us who were born here and live here take our rights, freedoms and blessings for granted. To be able to serve this country, to help in any small way to uphold and preserve those rights and freedoms, was a privilege, an honor and something I do not take for granted.
I have the utmost respect for all of the former and current members of all branches of our armed forces. These men, women and their families make sacrifices every hour of every day for you and me. Unfortunately, some of them make the ultimate sacrifice; they should always be remembered for such sacrifice by all of us.
Any time you see a military member in uniform don’t be afraid to approach them and say thank you for your service. Although most are embarrassed by such thanks, they will nonetheless appreciate the comment and be prideful of your recognition.
If called upon now, I would serve in an instant.
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