AIRBORNE! Robbie / US Army

AIRBORNE! Robbie / US Army

Today’s #YOUAREGOVX member liked to jump out of perfectly good airplanes during his Army career. An airborne medic out of Fort Bragg, Robbie also earned jump wings from two other countries from training and deploying with allied militaries.

I joined the US Army right after high school, just as Desert Storm was winding down, and went to basic in February of 1992. They asked what job I wanted when I joined. I told them that all I wanted to do was go to jump school. Before I knew it, I was stationed at Fort Bragg. All I wanted to be was Airborne. My grandfather was a paratrooper with the 101st Screaming Eagles and my father served with the 173rd during ‘Nam.

After looking through the jobs available, I figured being a medic would be fun. I ended up going through basic, AIT, and jump school with about 13 other guys. We were cohorts and we were in the same battalion. A couple were split between different companies but we were together. I really enjoyed my time in training; I got to hang out with a lot of really great guys and work with a few different units.

In July 1992, I arrived at my unit and a month later we got our first real-world deployment. We spent over a month in South Florida helping the local communities rebuild from the storm season. My squad built a clinic and a food distribution center in a very small church, and treated numerous patients. I did several other stateside deployments, pulling medical support for various training operations over the years and in 1995, was sent to Haiti for Operation Uphold Democracy. We spent a few months in the Gonaives with the Nepalese military and a handful of the SF guys. I also was able to jump with the Australian Special Forces and was awarded their parachute wings. Later, in Key West, I worked with guys from the Special Warfare Center and also the Royal Thai Air Force, and ended up receiving jump wings from that country as well.

I continually suggest that younger guys should join and serve their country. Where else are you going to learn skills for a career, make friends that you will have for a lifetime, and most of all serve your country?

I ended up having to have two lower back surgeries at the end of my enlistment, this disability resulted in me leaving the Army to pursue another career. For the past 19 years I have been in the restaurant business and worked as an Executive Chef. The last several years have taken a toll on my back, standing on a hard kitchen floor. I recently decided to go back to school to get my Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and then become certified as a Dietitian. I would like to use my combined knowledge as a chef and knowledge in exercise science and nutrition to gain a career in helping fellow veterans and myself achieve the best physical and nutritional fitness possible. If I had the opportunity to do it all over again, I definitely would. I continually suggest to younger guys that I come across to join and serve their country. Where else are you going to learn skills for a career, make friends that you will have for a lifetime, and most of all serve your country?

Robbie’s GovX recommendations

I have purchased four Hydro Flasks already. I think these are a must-have for everyone. I take my 40oz bottle out in the 90-degree heat in my kayak and I have ice water all day.

The Lifeproof Fre case is another favorite. I have this on my IPhone 6. It is a necessity. Being out in the kayak, everything gets wet.

And the GoPro Hero4 is a great camera for anytime you want to document your adventures. I have photographed and taken videos of numerous fish under and above the water.

Robbie’s GovX wish-list:

The TRX Force Tactical kit. Doing research, I definitely want to purchase this in the future to help me get back into good physical condition. This is a low impact system, which will not affect my back disability the way free weights have in the past.

Geigerrig Rig 1600 Hydration Pack would allow me to carry all of my gear or school books as well as having H2O with me all day.

The Emerson Commander Serrated Knife is also on my wish list. Being a fisherman in a kayak, there is always a need for a knife. Plus, what man doesn’t carry a knife in their pocket?

Thanks for your service, Robbie. It’s good to have you on the ground again. Enjoy your new sunglasses from this month’s blog sponsor, Gatorz Eyewear.

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