Global War on Terror

SGT Roland Heritage, U.S. Army (2017-2021)

SGT Roland Heritage, U.S. Army (2017-2021)

In what ways has serving in the military influenced the way you have approached your subsequent life and career?:

The impact of my military service has been profound, shaping my values, mindset, and approach to various aspects of life. In the following response, I will attempt to encapsulate the essence of this transformative journey within the given word limit. First and foremost, serving in the military instilled in me a strong sense of discipline and commitment. The rigorous training, the demanding physical and mental challenges, and the responsibility entrusted to me all fostered a deep understanding of the importance of discipline in achieving personal and professional goals. This discipline has translated into every facet of my life and career, allowing me to persevere in the face of adversity and maintain a strong work ethic.

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AE2 LaTonya Davison, U.S. Navy (1996-2010)

AE2 LaTonya Davison, U.S. Navy (1996-2010)

In what ways has serving in the military influenced the way you have approached your subsequent life and career?:

My 14 years in the Navy afforded me travel to 22 countries and engagement with countless people from all walks of life. I was an aircraft mechanic/electrician pushed beyond fear and doubt that I could do things I’d never done before or do things that a woman is told she can’t do. This picture is from a deployment to Atsugi, Japan, in 2004, when the airplane engine stranded us on the island for 3 days. I was the most junior enlisted on an “all khaki” or E-7 and above detachment, and as the electrician, I was tasked to help the engine mechanic get the bird back in the sky. We made it happen, and I was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medal for my contribution to getting the mission back home. That experience, and so many others during enlistment, contributed to the self-confidence I have today.

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SMSgt Josephine Davis-Fogle, U.S. Air Force (1991-2017)

SMSgt Josephine Davis-Fogle, U.S. Air Force (1991-2017)

In what ways has serving in the military influenced the way you have approached your subsequent life and career?:

Serving in the military has influenced the way I have approached my life and career in several ways. First, I came from a single family home where my dad was my sole provider from age 12 until I left for basic training at age 18. It was different being a female raised by a dad and all of my friends were raised mostly by moms. I was determined to do great things in life. Once I graduated basic training, I was on full throttle to an amazing career. When I realized I had the opportunity of a lifetime, I made the best of it. The Air Force was giving me money, advancement, training, travel, recreation, education, security and satisfaction and I took full advantage of it. I started off as a Dental Technician. I became a First Term Airmen Center Instructor, an Airmen Leadership School Instructor, and then a Third Tier Recruiter. I then advanced to a Recruiter Flight Chief in charge of 4 offices. This led to me going to the Air Force’s Recruiting School House to be an Instructor Supervisor and the Director of Education. After this assignment, I took on my last job as a squadron Production Superintendent in charge of offices in GA, FL and a portion of SC. This was the epitome of my career.

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SSgt Kevin Hunt, U.S. Air Force (1987-2008)

SSgt Kevin Hunt, U.S. Air Force (1987-2008)

In what ways has serving in the military influenced the way you have approached your subsequent life and career?:

Prior to my military service, my patriotism revolved around a flag and enjoying the American and military-specific holidays with my family. I didn’t have parents or grandparents who had served in the military to reflect upon. Having served 20 years in the USAF and Desert Shield and Desert Storm, my patriotism and love of this country has no end. I now have 4 flagpoles, stick flags, a solar-powered-led flag, indoor pictures, and clothing representing America, the USAF, and Desert Shield and Desert Storm. It was an honor to serve my country and I’m proud to continue that honor as a veteran.

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OS1 Chris Walgenbach, U.S. Navy (2004-Present)

OS1 Chris Walgenbach, U.S. Navy (2004-Present)

Of all the military operations you participated in, including combat, humanitarian or peacekeeping operations, which of these made a lasting impact on you and why?:

My volunteer time for the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) is the one lasting impact that really stands out. I was working at an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit in California, and the agency was looking to fill two Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) spots for one of their missions. I and a friend of mine that worked at the same command, a GM2, stepped up and were selected.

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A1C Stevin John (Blippi), U.S. Air Force (2006-2008)

A1C Stevin John (Blippi), U.S. Air Force (2006-2008)

Blippi, a beloved children's entertainer known for his vibrant personality and educational content, may not be the first person that comes to mind when thinking about military service. However, before captivating young minds with his joyful videos, Blippi served in the Air Force as a loadmaster.  Blippi, whose real name is Stevin John, demonstrated his passion for serving his country from an early age. Born on May 27, 1988, in Ellensburg, Washington, he grew up with a deep respect for the armed forces. After completing his high school education, Blippi made the decision to enlist in the military.  Blippi Was Once U.S. Air Force Serviceman Blippi, or Stevin John, began his military journey as a fresh-faced recruit and quickly proved his dedication and commitment to his duties. He originally dreamed of being a fighter pilot and joined the Air Force in 2006 as a loadmaster for the C-17 Globemaster airplane at the 4th Airlift Squadron. Responsible for properly loading, securing...

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SGT Alfonzo Jr. Mitchell, U.S. Army (2004-2008)

SGT Alfonzo Jr. Mitchell, U.S. Army (2004-2008)

Riskiest Moment: Was there any specific incident during your military service when you felt your life was at risk? What were the circumstances, and what was the outcome?:

August 11, 2007, a date forever etched in my memory as a testament to the delicate dance between routine and destiny. Serving in the United States Army amidst the chaos of Iraq, I experienced a life-altering incident that defied all odds and affirmed the power of instinct and premonition.

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SGT Marie (Phelan) Vedder, U.S. Army (1999-2007)

SGT Marie (Phelan) Vedder, U.S. Army (1999-2007)

Riskiest Moment: Was there any specific incident during your military service when you felt your life was at risk? What were the circumstances, and what was the outcome?:

We are all gathering outside of our rooms, ready to mount up when, seemingly out of nowhere, the wind blows with a startling ferocity. The doors all slam at once, as a blanket of silt lifts off of the tiled floor in a sort of miraculous display of unity, hovers momentarily mid-air, and then returns again to its resting place, leaving behind a cloud in the corridor. The building seems to have breathed in sharply, before spewing chaos in a sudden exhalation of violent illness. My confusion lacks the appropriate measure of fear; my complete ignorance of what is unfolding around me shields me from panic. I feel only that the seconds have collapsed, that our every movement and sensation is stifled by the thickness of the dust in the air, resulting in a painfully slow resolution to my question: what has just happened? My eyes are fixed on Mari’s. She is talking. She is the only one talking, but I cannot hear her over the cacophonous ringing in my ears. Sir! Sir, what about Michaels and Sa’ad? They are outside.

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Once a Warrior by Jake Wood

Once a Warrior by Jake Wood

When Marine sniper Jake Wood arrived in the States after two bloody tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, he was not leaving war behind him - far from it. Ten years after returning home, Jake's unit lost more men to suicide than to enemy hands overseas.  He watched in horror as his best friend and fellow Marine, Clay Hunt, plunged into depression upon returning, stripped of his purpose, community, and sense of identity. Despite Jake's attempts to intervene, Clay died by suicide, alone. Reeling, Jake remembered how only one thing had given Clay a measure of hope: joining him in Haiti on a ragtag mission to save lives immediately following the 2010 earthquake. His military training had rendered him unusually effective in high-stakes situations. What if there was a way to help stricken communities while providing a new mission to veterans? In this inspiring memoir, Jake recounts how, over the past 10 years, he and his team have recruited over 130,000 volunteers to his disaster response...

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In Which Box? by Bob Sheldon

In Which Box? by Bob Sheldon

Retired Navy officer Bob Sheldon, the author of 'In Which Box?', has drawn from 26 years of experience and his extensive world travels to weave a dramatic tale. About the Book Michael Renaldi, a former regional security officer for the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service, is the protagonist of this globe-trotting debut novel by retired U.S. Navy officer Bob Sheldon. Renaldi is pulled out of retirement by his former colleagues in the DSS, who are desperate for his special skills in the interrogation field. Saudi Arabia requires help with a captured Islamist terrorist, and the need for alternative interrogation techniques will spur Renaldi on his next mission. Along with agent Yuri Hagino, he travels to Japan’s Kansai International Airport in search of a solution, but gets drawn undercover once more into the high-stakes world of espionage. As he strives to implement an efficient replacement for waterboarding, he tests new pain delivery methods on a terrorist. However, an unbelievable...

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The Only Thing Worth Dying For by Eric Blehm

The Only Thing Worth Dying For by Eric Blehm

'The Only Thing Worth Dying For' is the harrowing true story of eleven Green Berets who fought alongside the future leader of Afghanistan to topple the Taliban in southern Afghanistan and bring hope to a nation during the early days of the Global War on Terror, or Operation Enduring Freedom— when the Soldiers on the ground knew little about the enemy, and their commanders in Washington knew even less. How Eleven Green Berets Fought for a New Afghanistan On a moonless November night, in the aftermath of 9/11, five Blackhawk helicopters infiltrate southern Afghanistan, dropping Special Forces A-Team-ODA 574-deep behind enemy lines in the mountains of Uruzgan. Hundreds of miles to the north, the U.S. military, aided by the Northern Alliance's armies, is routing Taliban forces. However, here in the Pashtun tribal belt— the Taliban's own backyard— Captain Jason Amerine and his ten Green Berets are on a seemingly impossible mission. They must destroy the Taliban from within and prevent a...

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