• FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Spc. Nathaniel Rose, a Huson, Mont., native, feels at home " to a degree " here in Afghanistan's mountainous Ghazni Province. Rose serves as an unmanned aerial vehicle operator with 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.  (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jonathan Shaw, Task Force 1-82 PAO)

    Why We Serve: Spc. Nathaniel Rose

    FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Spc. Nathaniel Rose, a Huson, Mont., native, feels at home " to a degree " here in Afghanistan's mountainous Ghazni Province. Rose serves as an unmanned aerial vehicle operator with 1st Brigade...

  • 120628-A-ZO737-002  FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Spc. Nathaniel Rose, a Huson, Mont., native, feels at home " to a degree " here in Afghanistan's mountainous Ghazni Province. Rose serves as an unmanned aerial vehicle operator with 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.  (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jonathan Shaw, Task Force 1-82 PAO)

    Why We Serve: Spc. Nathaniel Rose

    120628-A-ZO737-002 FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Spc. Nathaniel Rose, a Huson, Mont., native, feels at home " to a degree " here in Afghanistan's mountainous Ghazni Province. Rose serves as an unmanned aerial vehicle operator...

  • 120628-A-ZO737-003  FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Spc. Nathaniel Rose, left, a Huson, Mont., native, controls a Shadow unmanned aerial vehicle from a mobile ground control station. Rose serves as an unmanned aerial vehicle operator with 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.  (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jonathan Shaw, Task Force 1-82 PAO)

    Why We Serve: Spc. Nathaniel Rose

    120628-A-ZO737-003 FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Spc. Nathaniel Rose, left, a Huson, Mont., native, controls a Shadow unmanned aerial vehicle from a mobile ground control station. Rose serves as an unmanned aerial vehicle...

FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, Afghanistan (June 30, 2012) -- From a small town in Montana to a small base in Afghanistan, Spc. Nathaniel Rose feels at home -- to a degree -- here in Afghanistan's mountainous Ghazni Province.

Attracted to the Army's college and post-service employment opportunities, and its health care benefits, the lanky Montanan enlisted three years ago to become an unmanned aerial vehicle operator.

Rose is assigned to 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, based stateside at Fort Bragg, N.C.

"My dad showed me an article in a Guard magazine with a predator on it," said Rose. "It looked like a fun thing to do while doing some good for the guys on the ground."

"The guys on the ground have told me that they feel more secure with the Shadow flying overhead," he said. "It's good to feel like you're doing something useful."

"I don't really care about killing the bad guys; I'd just rather keep our guys safe," he added.

Rose's father, Lt. Col. Collin Rose, is an infantry officer in command of the 190th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion of the Montana Army National Guard. As a former Marine parachutist, he says he is glad his son was assigned to the 82nd.

"I am very proud of my son's decision to enlist, and of his service," said Collin.

He and Nathaniel, enjoy hunting, hiking and mountain biking in the mountains surrounding Huson, Mont., when they can. The two are close and talk on the phone a few times a week.

"I enjoy the rugged mountains and arid climate here [in Ghazni]," said Nathaniel. "It reminds me a little bit of home."

The 21-year-old specialist believes his choice to join the Army was a good one, particularly for the employment opportunities he will have as a UAV operator when he finishes his service.

With a new family, he is considering working for AAI, the company that manufactures the Shadow 200 UAV that he and his teammates fly to observe the battlefield and inform the troops on the ground of what they see.

Rose may attend college before getting a job. He has yet to decide.

"Honestly, I want to go back to Montana for a while and just be there," he said.

Page last updated Sat June 30th, 2012 at 00:00