By Pfc. Justin Naylor, 2nd BCT,1st Cav. Div. PAOJanuary 20, 2009
CAMP BEUHRING, Kuwait - Why do Soldiers serve'
It's a question that has been repeated for generations. Until relatively recent, a majority of Soldiers had to serve because they were drafted. However, in the modern Army, all Soldiers join because they choose to.
Three of the Soldiers of 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division gave their reasoning, and some of these reasons might sound familiar.
"My dad and grandfather served," said Ironton, Mo. native Spc. Christopher Litteken, an air conditioner mechanic for Company D, Forward Support Company, 4th Sqdrn., 9th Cav. Regt. "My grandfather fought in World War II and my father was in Vietnam; It feels good to take up where they left off."
This was also true for Kissimmee, Fla. native Spc. Frank Parker, a motor transport operator for Co. D, 4th Sqdrn., 9th Cav. Regt., who had three uncles and a father who all served in the Army.
"One of my uncles had the same job I do now, and that helped lead me to it," said Parker.
This isn't Parker's first stint in the Army though. He originally joined in the early 1990's and took part in the initial action during Desert Storm with a cavalry regiment out of Germany. He left the Army shortly afterward and took a nearly 15-year break-in-service.
Parker said his decision to come back to the Army was a simple one.
"I wanted a change of pace," explained Parker. "It was an adventure."
For these Soldiers, there were more reasons than just these.
"I joined the Army to travel and set a foundation for life," said Pompano Beach, Fla. native Spc. Jeremiah "Super Rob" Robinson, a systems administrator for 4th Sqdrn., 9th Cav. Regt. "I've got a lot of certificates and experience in the job. I've grown a lot being deployed, as a Soldier, and a leader, and a team player."
Finally, the most resounding answer heard was that these Soldiers take pride in what they do.
"There is a sense of pride when people ask where their daddy is," said Litteken. "You get to stand up for your country."
And for Parker, a sense of pride comes from the togetherness and the camaraderie he finds in the Army. "People work together so closely and strive to complete the mission," said Parker. "It is almost like a family."