Army Reflections

Service Reflections of SSG Peter Olsen, U.S. Army (1967-1973)

Service Reflections of SSG Peter Olsen, U.S. Army (1967-1973)

Too much partying, and it turned out a 1.2 GPA would not keep me from being drafted. So I volunteered for the draft. Once I got back from Vietnam, I actually received 2 degrees and maintained a 3.7 GPA while working full time as a police officer. Funny story – After I left school to volunteer for the draft, I thought it would be a quick process. Not so. The first month my draft board did not meet for some reason. The second month the draft board did not take up my request. The third month a draft board member died of old age – no meeting. In the 4th month, the draft board finally met and acted on my request but did not approve it until the 5th month.

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Service Reflections of SFC Joseph Wilson, Jr., U.S. Army (1967-1990)

Service Reflections of SFC Joseph Wilson, Jr., U.S. Army (1967-1990)

My father was a WWII Navy veteran (1945-47). In 1964 – 65 I became a Cadet with the Civil Air Patrol in the Borah Cadet Squadron in Boise, Idaho, and later with the Gowen Field Cadet Squadron also in Boise, Idaho.Despite them being similarly reserved and not the type of men to brag, I could hardly wait to visit them so I could beg them to tell me war stories. The experiences they shared with me made a lasting impression during my early childhood, which further aroused my desire to serve my country.

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Service Reflections of CPT Kent Whitman, U.S. Army (1967-1987)

Service Reflections of CPT Kent Whitman, U.S. Army (1967-1987)

Vietnam cranking up made it easy for me to select ROTC as my elective course while attending the University of Mass Amherst with a college deferment. We need the draft back. I knew I would be called to go after college, so I decided to do it as an Officer. I did well in ROTC, so I was offered a Regular Army Commission instead of the Reserve commission.
Despite them being similarly reserved and not the type of men to brag, I could hardly wait to visit them so I could beg them to tell me war stories. The experiences they shared with me made a lasting impression during my early childhood, which further aroused my desire to serve my country.

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Service Reflections of SPC Reginald Furtick, U.S. Army (2006-2014)

Service Reflections of SPC Reginald Furtick, U.S. Army (2006-2014)

Both of my grandfathers served in World War II. One as an Army Chauffeur to his Battalion Commander during Canal Zone operations in Panama. The other was a Naval Radarman Third Class aboard the USS Livingston.

Despite them being similarly reserved and not the type of men to brag, I could hardly wait to visit them so I could beg them to tell me war stories. The experiences they shared with me made a lasting impression during my early childhood, which further aroused my desire to serve my country.

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Service Reflections of SSG Trey W. Franklin, U.S. Army (1988-2008)

Service Reflections of SSG Trey W. Franklin, U.S. Army (1988-2008)

My family has a long tradition of military service. My Father most heavily influenced me, and most of my memories of him are of him going to or coming home from drill with the TXARNG on the weekends.

My grandfathers were also in the Army, as were some of my extended family. My mother’s dad served during WWI and had to fight the system to go back on active duty in WWII. He won that fight, but they wouldn’t let him deploy overseas because of his age, so he stayed in the states as a counter-intelligence officer and was probably one of the oldest Majors on active duty.

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Service Reflections of CSM Robert (Rob) M. Preusser, U.S. Army (1995-Present)

Service Reflections of CSM Robert (Rob) M. Preusser, U.S. Army (1995-Present)

I have raised an Army brat. I grew up with military role models. My father, uncle, and grandfather were in the Army. I had two other uncles in the Air Force. Made it an easy choice for military service. Being an Army brat, moving to multiple middle schools and two high schools, I was burned out with schooling and didn’t have the means to go directly into college, so military service was the logical choice for me. It fit me better because I wanted to get out on my own and travel the world. I wanted something more than working in my hometown. I wanted to do something positive with my life and make a difference to others.

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Service Reflections of SGT Eric Andonian, U.S. Army (1992-2001)

Service Reflections of SGT Eric Andonian, U.S. Army (1992-2001)

Influencer #1: The military always fascinated me; my dad grew up in Tehran, Iran (an Armenian), and he served in the Persian Army (Iran, 1941).

He was a very proud American and loved this country, and I remember him taking us to Long Beach harbor (California) to see an aircraft carrier (the 1960s). That was an amazing experience (I can still visualize those torpedoes)!

Influencer #2: We lived through the hushed horror of Vietnam, and I think my parents kind of shielded us from it. I don’t remember ever seeing it on TV or talking about it. When I turned 18 (1978), my mom actually hesitated (slightly) when I jokingly questioned signing up for Selective Service registration. She talked about my staying with my friend in Canada if the next war was FUBAR like Vietnam. That surprised me because she strongly supported our nation and its laws.

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Service Reflections of LTC Edward Shyloski, U.S. Army (1966-2003)

Service Reflections of LTC Edward Shyloski, U.S. Army (1966-2003)

My father was a WWII vet who admired his country and the Army. I wanted to follow in his footsteps and have never been sorry to do so. My daughter followed mine and became a 4th Inf Division Aviation Company Commander with three sets of wings on her chest, i.e., Aviator, Jump, and Air Assault.

I attended her taking command at Fort Hood, and her 4th Inf Brigade Commander made a big deal of our heritage of serving the Army through three generations and supporting the 4th Infantry in Vietnam. My daughter’s husband, Andrew Morgado, is now becoming CoS of 8 Army 1 August 2020. We will see what our 4 grandkids do!

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Service Reflections of SP 4 Richard Bradley, U.S. Army (1963-1970)

Service Reflections of SP 4 Richard Bradley, U.S. Army (1963-1970)

Until August of 1963, I was planning on going into the Navy and making a career out of it. My father was in the Merchant Marines and then the Navy during World War II. I had read his Blue Jacket’s Manuel 1944 entirely and was determined to become a good sailor.

Then, my older brother came home on leave from Fort Bragg Special Forces Training. He was wearing a tailored Khaki uniform with French Fourragere and Jump Wings. The 82nd Airborne Patch complemented his high gloss Jump Boots. His stories about jump school enamored me. He left on August 9, 1963, back to Fort Bragg.

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