November 7, 2016

I joined the Army when I was 18 years old and early on made the decision to dedicate my life in service to our Country. During my time in the military, I had the opportunity to see much of the world – stationed in Germany and deployed to missions in Iraq three times and Afghanistan once. During these deployments, I saw firsthand the strength of the human spirit. Many of the people in these countries have known nothing but war for their entire lives. They have learned to live under the constant threat of violence, yet still show the resiliency it takes to try to continue to live day-to-day life.

Throughout my time in the Army I most certainly experienced some life-changing events, such as the loss of several very good friends. And missing time, time that most people take for granted. I learned to appreciate the little things like a real bed, a shower and cold clean drinking water. My wife has stood by me through countless training exercises and deployments without question. Knowing that she was there to answer the phone and listen to me when I talked about the things that were on my mind was a crucial part of my mental stability during these challenging times. My children always cried when I left, but deep down they understood that what I was doing served a cause that was greater than any one person. They have always been supportive and waiting with open arms upon my return home.

I have made several lifelong friends on this road. Many of them have worn the uniform and taken the oath and stood beside me both on and off the battlefield. We carry the loss of our sisters and brothers heavy on our hearts and will do so forever. Some of them were barely 19 years old and some were over 30 with spouses and children. We all need to remember the true reason a person is willing to go to war. It is not for glory or medals; it is not for the money; it is not ONLY for the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. It is for the person who is not able to stand up and fight. For the little Iraqi girl that has no voice. For the person who simply wants to work and support their family but cannot, because every day they leave their house knowing they might not come home. Wherever we go, whatever the mission is or was, our hearts hold a simple truth: we do what we do because others either can’t or won’t.

ActioNeter Brian R. on a Roof in Samarra Iraq

      Brian now serves as part of the ActioNet IT Support team at the Carl R. Darnel Army Medical Center (CRDAMC) located in Fort Hood, Texas as a Help Desk Technician. His daily activities ensure that Clinic staff at CRDAMC have working computers and peripherals supporting the patient care mission. This past year, his efforts to meet and greet the CRDAMC work force have garnered positive feedback from the Information Management Division (IMD) as well as the hospital clinical staff. As we enter into another year working with the CRDAMC team, Brian is working as a Project – Desktop Alignment and Standardization Team member. His contribution gathering information and assisting with the procedure and process development will help better support the clinic staff needs while reducing and streamlining the support resources necessary for IMD operations.

Brian R. is a Retired US Army Veteran