Monday, February 16, 2009

Dusty My Documents Folders

I was going through my files and folders to see what I could get rid of and I found this little gem. My daughter had interviewed me for her 9th grade English class assignment around Veterans Day. I think she got a 97% on it. Anyway, I got to thinking some of you might like to know a little more about the man behind the knife, so to speak. So, I decided to share her report to her class with you. I hope you enjoy.

My Veteran

Veterans have been a huge part of history. They protected us from the Nazis.
They fought in Operation Desert Storm. They made us proud. They dedicated their life
to people they didn’t even know. And throughout the wars, hundreds and thousands of
them have died to keep freedom in our country. I interviewed a former soldier and
wrote down what he had to say. It may not be the coolest or liveliest tale of all,
but that shouldn’t matter. He put his life on the line for freedom. This is his

“My name is Frank Shedden. I am a Veteran of the United States Army. I joined
the Army in December of 1988. My life had stagnated and I needed to make some
serious changes. I decided that I wanted to see the world outside of the Rocky
Mountain West. So off to the recruiters I went. I talked to all of them and
decided the Army would give me the best chances of training for a job when I got
out. They offered me a chance to be an electronics technician, specifically radio
communications equipment.

I went to basic training at Fort Bliss, Texas outside of El Paso. I spent New Years
Eve getting my head shaved because it was required. After basic I went to Fort
Gordon, Georgia, for Advanced Individual Training (AIT). My course was nine months
long to learn electronics and fix equipment down to the smallest component. Once I
completed this training, I was chosen to stay another six weeks to get an Additional
Skill Identifier (ASI). The Army had me working on satellite communications vans.

After AIT/ASI, I was sent to Bittburg Air Force Base in Germany for my first
duty assignment. I was assigned to an Army Air Defense Artillery Battalion. I set
about applying my trade as a radio repairman. While in Germany, President Regan
went to Berlin and challenged the Russians to tear down the Berlin wall. Before I l
left the wall was coming down and Germany was being reunited as one country again.

In 1991, I found myself at Fort Hood, Texas. I was assigned to the First Calvary
Division. I quickly learned that the Armored Calvary operates much differently from the Air Defense. We trained hard and long and we spent many, many months in the field practicing war time operations. In September 1992, I volunteered to go to Kuwait as part of a Task Force to help train the Kuwait Military and bolster sanctions imposed on Saddam Hussein.

I came home in December for Christmas. I went on leave to Wyoming and on January 1993, the day I returned to Fort Hood, I was ordered with the Task Force to return to Kuwait. Two days after arriving back in Kuwait, President Clinton ordered a
massive air and sea attack on Iraq. The unit I was in helped secure the border between Iraq and Kuwait.

I stayed at Fort Hood for the remainder of my career, with the exception of going back to Fort Gordon for the Basic Non-commissioned Officers Course associated with my duties.

Looking back I would do it all again. I got to meet some of the most amazing people in the world and experience different cultures. If a young person were to want to
go in the Military I would encourage them do so. It is a noble cause, one they will
remember for the rest of their life and there is no greater satisfaction than having served your Country.”

Frank Shedden got out of the army in June of 1996. He now lives here in Mustang with his wife, two kids, and numerous pets. He works for the Mustang School District as a carpenter and a general maintenance helper. His hobbies include woodworking, photography, and art.

1 comment:

Brigid said...

That's really interesting, Frank, and it's cool to learn more about you. Thank you for sharing.