Many of you will recognize the name, Heath Hansen. Hansen used to regularly submit some of his experiences to us; experiences which we gladly shared. He joined the Army in 2004 and became a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. He deployed in Afghanistan during 2005-2006 and in Iraq from 2007 to 2008. He was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge (CIB), as well as the Parachutist’s Badge and the Australian Parachutist’s Badge. 

After his career in the military was done he attended and graduated from San Diego State University with a B.S. in Business-Financial Services. With Veterans Day just this past Monday, Hansen shared with us another of his experiences in Afghanistan

I opened my eyes. It was still dark, but I could see the night was ending and another day in some village in Afghanistan was beginning. The smell of dip-spit and cigarette smoke betrayed the fact that the platoon was awake and breaking down the patrol base. “Get the f*** up, Hansen,” was the greeting from my team leader. “Get your s*** on the humvee, we’re leaving in a few mikes.” “Roger, Sergeant,” I replied. It was May 31, 2005, and the time to win over more hearts and minds in the War on Terror.

We listened to the convoy brief. The platoon would be heading to another village, in the middle of nowhere, to help villagers that probably had no idea why Americans were in their country and couldn’t care less about ‘democracy.’ The typical information was passed down about the scope and purpose of the mission and was then followed by the monotone, repetitive, “Keep your heads on a swivel” and, “Make sure we have full, three-sixty security at all times. Remember your battle drills.”