Soldier wraps up service with one last trip overseas
June 23, 2014
THIÈS, Senegal -- While many 18-year-olds head to college after high school, Pfc. Jacob Eye, fire support specialist with Attack Co., 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, said he opted for a more adventurous route.
This Midwestern boy from the suburbs of St. Louis, Mo., said one reason he joined the Army was because his dad was in the military for 25 years and after seeing the unique experiences he had going to Germany and deploying to Iraq, he wanted to do something similar.
Eye's overseas adventures started quickly after graduating from his Army advance individual training school where he learned his job. Eye's first duty station was Korea where he spent a year followed by orders to Fort Riley, Kan., where he is currently stationed.
Eye said he enjoys the changes in scenery and the best part of his military career has been traveling.
"I would have never gone to Korea or Africa had it not been for the Army," said Eye, who has been in for two years.
After eight months at Fort Riley, Eye went to Senegal in Africa with his unit to support Exercise Western Accord 14, a joint training exercise involving militaries from the U.S., Economic Community of West African States and other partnered nations. Western Accord 14 is a U.S. Africa Command sponsored, U.S. Army Africa hosted exercise.
"We get to see how other countries train and see what they have," he said. "It's also good to get out and train on different terrains too. Back at Fort Riley, it's mostly plains and hills and out here it's rugged and hot. It's just a whole new world out here."
Eye said living in the tent next to the Senegalese Soldiers, pulling guard and eating together has been a very rewarding experience.
In addition to the adventures he wanted, Eye said another reason he joined the Army was because he lacked direction after high school.
"I was never really good at change but in the Army, everything changes so much," he said. "Last year I was living in Korea, this year I'm living in Kansas. You meet new people all the time. I used to be really shy but I've opened up a whole lot more."
Eye's supervisor, Sgt. Joshua Throener, a fire support noncommissioned officer with Attack Co., 1st Bn., 28th Inf. Reg., 4th IBCT, 1st ID said Eye is hard working, flexible and loyal to the mission.
"Based off of his determination to get the job done, he really sets himself apart from his team members," said Throener, who has served for 12 years.
After completing his service, Eye said he plans on attending school to become a mechanic. He said the Army has given him confidence and helped better prepare him for school.
"I've worked on military trucks and driven just about everything there is here and a lot of that experience will carry over into the mechanical field too," he said.
Although he plans on getting out of active duty service, Eye said he has no regrets about joining the Army.
"I'm definitely glad I joined the Army," said Eye. "I would have never had so many unique experiences if it hadn't been for the military."