Chris Huskey, U.S. Army, retired

“I had a full-time job. I was actually rolling beer for Budweiser, and I looked around and I saw 40-year-old guys that were in the same position as I was as a 19-year-old kid and I was like, ‘there’s more to life than this.'”

“I had already tried college — didn’t really like it, full time job — didn’t really want to be stuck in that for the rest of my life, so really the only thing left was military. I figured I’d give it a shot and do four years or whatever and then be gone, and day one, I absolutely fell in love with it.”

It kind of hit me more after I joined the implications of 9/11 and kind of the post-ramifications of that and everything. It wasn’t a form of patriotism that, ‘I have to go sign up now,’ but after I joined, it really kind of drove it home that this is where I belong and this is what I need to do.”

“I was in Iraq for six months and Afghanistan for 12 months. Searching a dead body and finding pictures of their family, that kind of makes you realize that they’re fighting for a cause just the same as we are and that very easily could have been pictures of my family that they were picking up, you know. That was probably the most impactful moment.”

“Once I signed up, (9/11) definitely gave me something to fight for. It’s kind of nice every September 11 to see the country come together again if only for that one day just because we’re so divided between Democrat, Republican, vaccinated, unvaccinated — there’s so much division coming from the top down that it’s nice to have that one day a year where we’re all kind of on the same page, at least for 24 hours.”

Photo and interview by Nikki Shotz as part of the Advanced Photojournalism course at the College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. 

 

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