Where did you serve and what did you do?
I served 6 years in the Army Reserves as a 12B Combat Engineer. I was stationed for the majority of it with the 478th Combat Engineer Battalion out Ft. Thomas, KY. I deployed to Iraq in 2003, where we ran missions out Um Qasr, Nasiriya, Safwan, and Al Kut. We worked beside Navy Seabees, the 1st MEF, the Air Force, and the British Army, throughout our deployment, doing force security, convoy security, unexploded ordnance disposal, and anything else we were tasked to do.
How are you #StillServing?
I joined the VFW back in 2003 as soon as I got back from Iraq. I joined looking to give back to family and friends, who supported me and my fellow brothers and sisters when we were deployed.
Since joining the VFW, I have been commander of my local Post for 3 yrs total. My Post and I try to find any and every way that we can help our community, both military and civilian. We have handed out free candy for Halloween Trick-or-Treat events, free meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas for anyone in the county that is hungry, free Easter egg hunts for the children in our county, worked hand in hand with our local JROTC to retire worn flags, visited veterans in the nursing home, made donations to the homeless shelter.
I even volunteered my own property for the Post to use to do a free cookout for all public safety employees, branded “Rockcastle Memorial Post 5908’s Annual Back the Blue Cookout”. I have also joined together with our local American Legion, to muster up a joint Honor Guard, to make sure that the veterans in our area, receive the proper military honors they are due. My Sr. Vice Commander and I have started a biweekly vet help group, for those military members who are going through hard times and dealing with PTSD.
Why do you do it?
When I was deployed, I saw firsthand the freedoms we all take for granted. From going down to the local restaurants to get a bite to eat to overseas eating whatever was put in front of us. When we would receive care packs from people back home, it made it a whole lot easier to carry on. So for me helping those people that supported us while we were deployed, is my way of saying thank you.
Also with helping military member’s families, who have lost their loved ones , or helping brothers and sisters currently dealing with issues, gives me the sense of being back in the military, and restores that feeling of having my brothers back, that I had back then.