Today’s #YOUAREGOVX member is an Army vet with two tours under his belt. Andrew volunteered for one to Iraq, one to Afghanistan, and currently lives in the oil boom town of Sidney, Montana. Andrew’s been a GovX member since last summer.
Volunteering for deployment.
In 2006 I joined the Army Reserves with my friend Merck, and then two years later I volunteered to go with his unit to Iraq. We spent nine months at a little hole in the wall called Camp Bucca, a detention facility. After spending a couple months there, I came back, but then I volunteered again to deploy with my unit to Afghanistan. We arrived there on Christmas Eve. I spent my deployment at FOB Salerno with some of the best people I will ever have the pleasure of knowing. The rest of my time in the Army was a blur of death by PowerPoint, police calls, and formations. But, that being said, I did greatly love my time in the military and I hope to someday return.
One moment that sticks out in between deployments: One our way to Afghanistan, our plane got grounded due to snow and ice in Germany. We spent a few days there at the airport with another unit, sleeping on benches and eating questionable German food. There was this one room with a sign that said OFF LIMITS on it, and like good, law-abiding people, we didn’t go into it. It wasn’t until about an hour before we were cleared to get back on the plane that someone came by and told us that room was actually the place we were supposed to stay. It had bunks and showers and great chow in there, and it was reserved just for us, but because of that sign, we never went in and slept on benches instead and ate terrible food. We felt like idiots.
But, as anybody would do, I sh**, showered, and shaved as quickly as possible, and hopped on the bird to Afghanistan before it left without me.
I’m originally from Georgia, but after I got out of the military I moved to my wife’s hometown in Sidney, Montana. Right now, Sidney’s a big boom town with the oil rush in Montana and North Dakota. I bounced around working here and there after getting out of the military, but ultimately found a job that suits my military background. I work for a company called Shootin’ Blanks, which is a virtual shooting range that uses the same simulators I used in the Army, but geared toward the civilian population. I thank the military for the training I received. If I didn’t have that training, I wouldn’t be as qualified for this job.
Working out. Hanging out.
I work out a lot in my spare time. It’s funny how much I hated PT when I was in the military, but working out for me now is the only way I keep from going crazy. I also like to go out shooting and hanging out with my friends.
Mottos and principles.
Someone asked me what living person I most admire. It’s so hard to pick just one. Most people from the military might say the brothers and sisters they had in the military as a response to that question. And you can’t go wrong there. I’d go a little bit more general and say I admire anyone who is trying to better themselves, and better everyone around them.
There are a bunch of military sayings I could plug in ones I admire. But I’d say my favorite saying is “Stop waiting for things to happen. Go out and make them happen.”