War On Terror Interviews
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War On Terror Interviews
Scott Blomberg enrolled in the U.S. Army's Health Professional Scholarship Program while attending medical school, where he trained to be an optometrist. Following his graduation in 2000, he was required to serve on active duty. He was assigned to the 101st Airborne at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, and deployed to Kosovo in March 2001. His division was mobilized again for the liberation of Iraq in March 2003.
Colonel Tom Bowman of Springfield, Illinois commanded a group of seventeen Illinois Army National Guard officers during a 2005-2006 deployment to Iraq. The group, officially known as Joint Forces Headquarters Forward-9, worked as a U.S. Army liaison team to the Multinational Division that was responsible for an area of Iraq south and east of Baghdad. The division’s commander and its largest contingent was Polish, but eleven other nations had contingents in the division as well. Colonel Bowman worked directly with the division’s senior command element, and oversaw the other Illinois officers, who were assigned to various staff sections throughout the division.
Jim Frazier lived an eventful life as a restaurateur and long-time employee of Safety Kleen, with an active family of five children. His oldest, Jacob (Jake) Frazier, joined the Illinois Air National Guard in 1998, and was assigned to the 169th Air Support Operations Squadron. Jake worked as a Tactical Air Combat Controller and deployed to Afghanistan in early 2003, assigned to a Special Forces A-team working in Helmand Province. In late March Jake was killed while on patrol. Jim talks at length about Jake, about his funeral, and about the struggles that Jim went through following that tragic event.
John Herbst grew up as the son of an Army officer, and joined the Illinois Army National Guard himself in 1992, and the Regular Army after a church mission in 1997. After being stationed at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri and in Germany, he was deployed to Kosovo in 2002, serving as part of the United Nations' Kosovo Force. Following this deployment, he was stationed at Ft. Dettrick, Maryland, and performed duties that included escorting prisoners from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Tom Lamont had a multifaceted career in a law, government administration, politics and the Illinois National Guard from the 1970s through the mid 2000s. In the 1990s he served on the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. In 2009 he became the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, taking on wide-ranging duties where he dealt with some of the most momentous and controversial issues of the President Obama administration, all while the nation fought two wars. Issues he dealt with included repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' the integration of women into combat positions, and recruiting and retention challenges, complicated by the era's serious budget constraints.
John Moulton started his military career as an enlisted man in the U.S. Air Force in 1967 following his graduation from high school in Vandalia, Illinois. He attended boot camp in San Antonio, Texas, where he was trained in ammunition management. By late 1968 he was stationed at Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa for several months, and by mid-1969 he was posted to Kunsan Air Force Base in South Korea. He finished his Air Force obligation at K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base in Michigan’s upper peninsula.
Tom Murgatroyd enlisted in the US Air Force near the close of the Vietnam War and served in personnel positions. After leaving active duty, he worked for the Veteran’s Administration and eventually was offered a full time position with the Air National Guard. He later worked in the logistical support of operations in the global War on Terror.
Marcus Phillips joined the Michigan Army National Guard in 2004 while still in high school, and trained as an airframe mechanic working on helicopters. Phillips was deployed to Combat Operations Base (COB) Adder in Tahil, Iraq from November 2009 to August 2010. While deployed, he serviced aircraft used for medical evacuation, and was assigned to a Downed Aircraft Recovery Team. Marcus is married to Sasha Phillips, whom he met while in Advanced Individual Training in Ft. Eustis, Virginia.
Sasha Phillips was in eighth grade in 2001, and enlisted in the Illinois National Guard at the age of seventeen in 2006. By 2009 she was serving in Afghanistan, working as a helicopter mechanic in sites that included Kandahar and at Bagram Air Base. She experienced mortar fire during her tour, and received the Combat Action Badge. Sasha married Marcus Phillips in 2010. The two had met during their Advance Individual Training at Ft. Eustis, Virginia.
Lawrence Pickett grew up in a military family, and joined ROTC in college. Upon graduation, he was commissioned in the Infantry. He served in Iraq during Desert Shield-Desert Storm in 1990-1991, then left active duty in 1994. Pickett later joined the U.S. Army Reserves, serving in the 308th Civil Affairs Brigade. He deployed to Iraq with that unit in 2003, and returned to Iraq in 2006, performing Civil Affairs duties in Baghdad. In 2008-2009 he served in the Nuristan Province of Afghanistan as part of a Provisional Reconstruction Team.
Martin Prickett was born and raised in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, joined the Iowa Army National Guard in 2001, and subsequently received training in personnel duties. Since that time, he deployed with the 1088th Personnel Section to Kuwait in 2004, and to Afghanistan in 2011, this time serving in Headquarters Battery of the 1st Battalion, 194th Field Artillery. The unit was stationed at Forward Operating Base Fenty at Jalalabad Army Airfield.
David Risley served as the Judicial Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt from late 2010 through early 2014, and was a witness to the Egyptian revolutions that swept through the country in 2011, and again in 2013. Risley provided a detailed description of the nuances and complexities of Egyptian society, with special attention on the country’s judicial system. He provided insights into both of the Egyptian revolutions, the first resulting in the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohamed Morsi, becoming president, and the second resulting in the forced overthrow of Morsi.
David S. Risley is a long-time Assistant U.S. Attorney assigned to the Central District of Illinois office. In November 2005 he joined the Regime Crimes Liaison Office, an agency of the Department of Justice, working directly with the Iraqi High Tribunal. David worked on Saddam Hussein’s War Crimes trial for a period of nine months, specifically as an assistant investigator on crimes against the Marsh Arabs.
Lieutenant Colonel Chris Smith began his military career in the 1990s with the Regular Army, then pursued a civilian career while also joining the Illinois Army National Guard. In 2006 he deployed to Iraq with an Advisory Team working with the Iraqi Federal Police, first in Sadr City and then Al Dora—both neighborhoods in metropolitan Iraq. He returned to Iraq for a second tour, this time as a strategic planner during the draw-down of American forces there.
Sergeant Kelsey Snyder served in Basra, Iraq with a Reserve Military Police unit from 2009 to 2010. Her unit worked extensively to train Iraqi Police Transition Teams, and provides insights into the challenges she and her fellow MPs faced with IED attacks, working with the Iraqi police, and the challenges faced by their interpreters.
Neil Taylor grew up in Blandinsville, Illinois, and enlisted in the Illinois Air National Guard in 2005. His unit, the 182nd Air Wing, based in Peoria, Illinois, deployed to Afghanistan in 2010. While in Afghanistan, Taylor worked in Nuristan Province helping coordinate close air support to local forces responding to insurgent attacks.