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Face of Defense: Student Finds Path in Army
Face of Defense
Posted on 03/03/2010 8:46:56 PM PST by SandRat
KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan , March 3, 2010 Robert J. Goggins started his college career with the goal of becoming a mechanical engineer. Instead, he joined the Army as an infantryman.
His life as a soldier in Afghanistan is markedly different from his life as a NASA intern and as a student at the University of Virginia, but he said he gets a lot of satisfaction from it.
Army Pfc. Robert J. Goggins shakes hands with a resident of Kandagal village in the Manogai district of eastern Afghanistans Kunar province, Feb. 21, 2010. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Albert L. Kelley
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Ive really enjoyed my Army experience so far, said Goggins, a private first class whos a gunner with 2nd Platoon, Company D, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Lethal.
I love finding myself in a situation where I have to make an important decision, he said. You dont know what the right decision is. You make the decision, youve tested yourself and youve passed it.
Goggins, a native of Bay St. Louis, Miss., spends his days in Afghanistan riding in a turret or carrying an MK-48 machine gun. At night, he can be found scanning his sector of responsibility during guard duty. Like every other member of his unit, he constantly searches for potential threats to himself and his fellow soldiers as he deals with cold weather and boredom.
Hes super intelligent and he sees things through analytical eyes, said Army Staff Sgt. Douglas R. Middleton of Siloam Springs, Ark., Goggins platoon sergeant. I could see him being in the Special Forces community.
Before he joined the Army, Goggins was set on becoming an engineer. To gain exposure to the field, he applied for an internship with NASA on a family members recommendation.
I loved my experience at NASA, he said. It was my first exposure to how engineers really work.
He said he was amazed what the agency accomplished with 1960s technology. I remember seeing the analog gauges, he noted. Thats when it occurred to me that we sent a man to the moon with analog dials.
Despite the experience gained at NASA, though, he decided a career in mechanical engineering might not be his calling.
I never really felt the spark there, Goggins said. I felt like if I spent the rest of my life doing something I dont like, that Im wasting my life. I wanted to see the real world.
Seeking a new direction following a series of personal setbacks, including having to return home to help his family because of flooding from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Goggins took inventory of his career experiences. One particular experience he recalled was fighting his first fire as a volunteer firefighter at the University of Virginia.
Going into my first fire, I was scared to death, but I pushed all that to the side, Goggins said. I remember walking out of the fire and seeing the other rookies looking at me with jealous eyes. Thats when I knew that I liked this kind of stuff. Its kind of why I joined the Army.
Goggins said he is happy with the Army, but still has plans to finish his formal education.
I want to go back to school to finish up my degree, he said. But, I dont think its going to be engineering. I havent decided what yet.
(From a Combined Joint Task Force 82 news release.)
TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; engineer; frwn; infantry
posted on 03/03/2010 8:46:56 PM PST
To: Clive; girlangler; fanfan; DirtyHarryY2K; Tribune7; manic4organic; U S Army EOD; Chode; tillacum; ..
FR WAR NEWS!
If you would like to be added to / removed from FRWN,
please FReepmail Sandrat.
WARNING: FRWN can be an EXTREMELY HIGH-VOLUME PING LIST!!
posted on 03/03/2010 8:47:32 PM PST
(Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
posted on 03/03/2010 8:50:48 PM PST
(Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
Fine young man, yet again, there’s hope for us yet.
Do we deserve such fine heroes...
God bless his mom and dad.
posted on 03/03/2010 9:04:36 PM PST
(Pray, Pray, Pray.)
I live in a town outside of Atlanta GA. We are not destitute, in fact our HS has a 86% graduation rate, the majority of these kids go onto 4 yr. colleges. Up until recently, we dominated the state in academics and athletics.
I can’t even tell you now many young men I know just from my immediate community who have left school to serve. Giving up both athletic and academic scholarships.
You can drive through just about any neighborhood and see Blue Stars or yellow ribbons.
It is truly amazing, I am so proud to know these wonderful men and women.
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