"US Army 1987-1993."
Why did you join the military?
"I needed a change of scenery and had a broken heart."
Did you serve overseas during wartime?
Yes. I was involved in several operations. Panama Operation Acid Gambit (an operation to retrieve Kurt Muse from a jail in Panama City). I was special forces. Our helicopter lost lift, crashed in the street, then the Panama defense league surrounded us, taking small arms fire. My friend got hit in the head with a propeller but thankfully survived with only a concussion. Another one (friend) broke a leg. We were running low on ammo when the seventh marine division rescued us. I was shot in the arm from a ricochet. I thought someone punched me in the arm till I felt it and my sleeve was soaked.
I was also in the first gulf war, Operation Desert Shield, doing intel surveillance. I was in a gulley with three others, counting tanks, seeing troop movement. (This is when we invaded Kuwait.) There was a little girl playing soccer nearby. Well, she kicked the ball into our ditch and saw us. Then she went and told her father. That started an attack on us, but fortunately were rescued after the fight.
I also was in Operation Desert Storm from 1990-1991. We fought the Republican Guard surrounding Sadam Hussein in Baghdad. We usually went in with British SAS (Special Air Service).
Lastly, I was involved in the Somalia operation, Gothic Serpent (otherwise known as Black Hawk Down 1993): suppose to be a half hour/45 minute mission. Army rangers and special forces there, setting up perimeter to arrest Mohamed Farrah Aidid.
I left after that mission after seeing so many killed. Eighteen year olds bleeding out in front of me. Another ones head blown off. A lot of people died there. That battle lasted so long, overnight. In hindsight, I should've stayed in."
What are your most vivid memories of your time in the service?
"The first person I killed, it was sickening. I got sick to my stomach, but it was also a rush. I felt powerful."
Would you recommend the service to others and what advice would you give them?
"Yes and I would tell them to stay in no matter what and retire there."
Did your family support your decision?
"My mother no, my father yes."
What do you feel was the best part of being in the military?
"All of the cool toys, like the weapons. Also what I got to do with every resource like jumping out of planes and repelling."
What did you get from your time in?
"Experience in fighting and pushing myself beyond my limits."
If you traveled, what was your favorite place you were in?
"Alaska. I learned to ski and love skiing to this day."
What do you do to commemorate Veterans Day?
"Usually visit my brothers at the VA hospital."
Is there anything else you feel is important for people to know?
'There is no higher honor than to defend your country. The sad part is the goverment has forgotten the vet. You see guys waiting for benefits and depend on it, they're not taken care of. I couldn't sleep and they just issued Xanax. They would just offer pills to fix it."