On November 12, we recognize and remember the military veterans who have bravely and honorably served our great nation. Brad Shroyer, UI/UX Designer at Find Your Influence, is a veteran of the United States Army.
We recently sat down with Brad to learn more about his time as an Army Specialist serving in the 1st ID.
Thank you for your service, Brad! Can you tell us about who or what inspired you to serve?
“Honestly, my motivation to serve in the Army was to pay for college. At that time, everything was generally ‘good’. It was before September 11, 2001 and it was more of a peaceful time. I was a junior at Penn State when Operation Iraqi Freedom began. I was then deployed to Baqubah, Iraq for a year.”
How old were you when you enlisted?
“I was 18 and in high school when I enlisted in the Army. My parents were supportive and proud. They understood that with four kids, money was going to be tight to send us all to college.”
Are you from a military family?
“My grandfathers were both in the military. One was in the Guadalcanal, in the Pacific, and the other one was in Germany. “
What can you tell us about the time you served, both before and after September 11, 2001?
“I was in Finance Division of the Army. Before September 11, I thought I would just be writing checks and paying bills. After September 11, 2001, my reality turned into me delivering money across Iraq to forward observation bases. I grew up a lot during this time. When I came back, I was a lot more dedicated to school because I appreciated it that much more.
It was really strange when I had two weeks R&R and I came back home. It was over the holidays and everyone was busy shopping at the mall. It was strange to know everything that was happening on the other side of the world and many people back home were just going about their lives, unaffected. It felt bizarre.
How has serving our country changed you?
“Serving in the United States Army has given me an appreciation for what we have here in America and our military. Especially the older-generation military. I think they sacrificed a lot more than we did. The number of casualties they faced isn’t anything we see today.”
What does Veterans Day mean to you?
“I think about my grandfathers on Veterans Day. They both completed their service, although one was a prisoner of war in Germany. My grandfather who served in the Guadalcanal did two or three tours over three years. He was an artist also so he used to get paints from the local markets and paint pictures and send to my grandmother. I have some of those paintings now. That’s really special.”
As we celebrate Veterans Day, we salute Brad, and everyone who has served for their service to our country.