Faces From the Front for April 12, 2010 - Maj. Larry Bonds
Current Unit: U.S. Forces - Afghanistan, Task Force POWER
Current Position: Deputy Commander
Component: Army Reserve
Current Location: Kabul, Afghanistan
Hometown: Houston, Miss.
Years of Service: 21
When great NFL players announce their retirement from football, many wonder if they will return to make a comeback a few years down the line. With a deep love for the game, many of these football legends could not stay away from playing, just as Maj. Larry Bonds could not keep away from his life's passion, Army service.
When Bonds retired from the Army in 2004 with ten years of service in the Mississippi National Guard and an additional ten years in the Tennessee National Guard, he had no idea how much he would miss his Army career.
"I resigned my commission and retired in June 2004 thinking that was the end of my military career. Over the next five years, I realized I missed the military and the adventure associated with it. I had to get back in the fight," Bonds explained. "I knew a lot of people going overseas, and I had never been. I felt like my twenty-and-a-half years served were not complete without an overseas tour in a combat zone."
At the age of 44, Bonds joined the U.S. Army Reserve to continue his military service.
"I was taken back into the fold," Bonds said. "Who would have thought a year ago I was a retired civilian doing my own thing, and now, a year later, I am a major serving our country in the middle of Afghanistan."
Currently serving as Deputy Commander for Task Force Protect Our Warriors and Electrical Resources (POWER), Bonds is working to ensure that electrical power sources in Afghanistan are safe for his fellow service members to use. By securing all power sources, Bonds and the members of Task Force POWER, protect service members from risks such as electrocution or shock while showering and using appliances. Bonds reviews inspection reports to determine where electrical problems exist and then employs local contractors and Afghan nationals to work on each project.
Bonds feels that his deployment thus far has been a success, not only due to the work accomplished by his team, but also because he and his U.S. counterparts have worked hand in hand with Afghan locals to complete their projects.
"My most rewarding deployment experience has been working with the Afghan people. Upon deploying, I wasn’t sure what the people would think of us, but I quickly learned that the Afghan people are wonderful," Bonds said. "I have developed some really good relationships."
Bonds is slated to return home this fall, and looks forward to spending time with family, and visiting his parents, Larry and Shirley Bonds, in Houston, Miss.
Bonds has four children, Laura, Caleb, Daniel and David.
"I told my kids to make a list of things they want me to do with them when I get home, so I will have a surprise waiting for me. I have no idea what they might want to do, but I am sure it will be fun."
"I am also going to enjoy spending my evenings sitting on the front porch of my antebellum home in downtown Memphis, with my favorite glass of merlot. Nothing like a great glass of wine on a warm southern night with my best friend, my wife, Casey, by my side."
Bonds' family has a tradition of military service which dates back to his great-great-great-grandfather who served with Barksdale's Mississippians at the Battle of Gettysburg. He hopes that one day his sons will continue this tradition of service, and follow his steps into the military.