Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veteran's Day - From a Veteran

Happy Veterans Day to all of our veterans and those who are still serving!

Night before PLDC graduation - 1996

I spent almost 10 years in the US Army - I went in right after high school (if you count November 13th, 1991 right out of high school.  I had a lot of fun with my friends that summer before I went off to basic training).

Mom and I the day of my graduation from DLI -1993
I joined the Army because I didn't want to go to college, and I wanted to become a Russian linguist (I took Russian in high school and loved it).  I didn't realize I would have to take a couple of entrance tests before even talking to the recruiter about what I wanted to do.  You need to take an ASVAB test (think SAT) and then you have to take a make-up language test to see if you have an aptitude for languages (right there I thought I failed utterly!).  I ended up passing both of those tests, talking to the recruiter and joining.

Me in the field at Fort Hood in November 1997
I went to basic at Fort Jackson, SC.  Next it was onto Monterey, CA for a year of learning Russian.  Then it was onto Goodfellow AFB, San Angelo, Texas and Fort Huachuca, AZ for more training before I even got to my first post (can you believe it) Fort Riley, KS.  Yes, a Russian linguist at Fort Riley, KS :)  I was at Fort Riley from 1993-1995 when they deactivated my unit in November 1995.  I was then sent back to DLI for a refresher course and then my next assignment (in my opinion HELL) San Antonio, TX for strategic duty (YUCK)! 

I re-enlisted the first chance I could to get out of there.  I asked to be sent back to a tactical unit - I asked for Fort Hood, TX.  I did my PLDC training there, and I loved it.  Though when I first got to the unit the people thought I was crazy to ask to be sent there - but until you have gone from tactical, to strategic - you have no clue!  Give me tactical any day over sitting in a box eight hours of the day with no windows!!!!!

Sitting in a hanger in California waiting for the
plane to be fixed to leave NTC in February 1998
I was lucky - I had a great experience in the Army - except for some hiccups.  I was not sent to Bosnia or Kosov like a few friends of mine, even though I volunteered.  I also have not done back-to-back tours in Iraq and Afghanistan like other friends of mine.

Please remember those who have served and are currently serving.  It takes a special kind of person to put their lives on hold to protect us and our country!!!  Don't think about the politics or if war is wrong - just know that these people are regular people who just happen to wear a uniform and are protecting your freedom!

As always - in loving memory of my Grandpa Ralph (World War II, South Pacific), Grandpa Lee (World War II European Theater), Uncle Gerald (World War II, KIA Iwo Jim), and in honor of my dad (Vietnam and retired in 1991) and me 1991-2001.

I salute you all!

Below is the most awesome display in honor of our veterans and active duty service members by the West Virginia University Marching Band and their Armed Forces Salute.


  1. Beth, thank you for your service to our country. When you speak of honoring those who have served or who are serving, your face lights up, you become very animated and the passion just shines through. Your mother salutes you!

  2. Thank you so much for your Service. I truly appreciate all our Service people, active and retired. My BFF was an Army Corpsman and my Dad's BFF was a Navy Corpsman (*he* was corpsman to the 3rd Marine Recon thru two tours of 'Nam and retired a Lt. jg) I can never express completely what I feel for those who made the choice to stand that line and defend my freedom (even if they didn't make it to Afghanistan).
    Thank you, again.


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