By Staff Sgt. Latisha FeltonNovember 10, 2016
FORT STEWART, Ga. -- It was November 1985 in the city of Chicago.
That year, Barack Obama had just moved to the "Windy City" to work as a community organizer; the Chicago Bears ranked first in the National Football League with 15 wins; and Lamonte J.D. McNutt was born at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
"Chicago was known for the great sports, good food and beautiful buildings, but Chicago was not for the faint of heart, Sgt. McNutt said, recalling his life as a boy growing up in the city. Today he is a multichannel transmission system operator-maintainer of 3rd Infantry Division.
"As a child, it wasn't easy to overcome everything that was thrown at me," said McNutt. "When I was 12 years old, me and my three siblings were separated and placed into foster care, and [we] were not reunited with my parents until five years later."
McNutt said he had to be strong enough to ask for help, and acknowledges that without the support of Family and friends, he never would have had the confidence to chase after his goals.
"I attended Manley Career Academy High School in Chicago and then attended Chicago State University for one year," McNutt said. "But I needed something different, and [I] needed to know that there was more to life."
"I didn't have a scholarship, and college tuition got to be too expensive; so I withdrew from college and joined the U.S. Army."
McNutt signed up in February 2008 at a Chicago recruiting station. Since then, he has served at Fort Benning, Georgia, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and now serves at Fort Stewart, Georgia, where he is the 3rd Infantry Division chief of staff's driver.
"Being the division chief of staff's driver has been a blast and, honestly, it has rejuvenated my military career and my personal well-being," McNutt said. "The coolest thing about being in this position is I get to really see why decisions are made, and how one situation can, really, affect another."
If there was ever a moment when he was certain he was in the Army for the long haul, this was it.
"As a soldier, I had to move away from my family and friends, and I really miss them," he said. "And even though I've had my ups and downs since being away from home, the Army saved my life and I plan on doing it for a while.
"Some people say success is something you receive, but I believe it's about what you learn throughout your journey."