Those who have served in our military deserve respect and honor. They put their own lives on hold to help our country. They go to wars, deployments, and they know that is what is expected of them when they sign up. These strong people are what makes our country amazing, and the land of the free. Without these selfless veterans, who knows where we would be.
Today I am going to share an interview with you that I conducted with USMC (United States Marine Corps) veteran, Corporal John Bruder. This amazing, (sometimes annoying) man also happens to be my husband of over seven years. We met right after his service ended so I didn’t know him while he was serving.
When were you in the service and for how long? (J) From September 2007 to September 2012.
What was your primary job? (J) Flightline CH53D Helicopter Mechanic.
What made you want to go into the Marine Corps? (J) I knew I wanted to join the military. Two of my friends were joining the Marines, and so I did as well. I guess you could call it peer pressure.
Where were you mainly serving? How many times did you deploy? (J) I was lucky to be stationed in Hawaii. Deployed to Iraq once and Afghanistan twice.
What was the best and worst military food? (J) Best- The Air Force chow hall in Kyrgyzstan had restaurant quality, amazing food. They even had grab-and-go candy bar bars, omelets all day, steaks, and more. Worst- expired, off-brand MRE’s.
What was your least favorite part about being in the military? (J) The yearly physical fitness test, specifically the three-mile run portion where you had to run three miles as fast as you possibly can, at 6 a.m.
Tell us a funny story about an experience in the military. (J) When I was in school for helicopter mechanic training, me and my roommate, being the only ones that were 21 years old in our class, went to a bar. My roommate got extremely intoxicated, and I had to drag him into the taxi to go back to base. When we got back, he flung open the door of the taxi and jumped out trying to fly like he was Superman.
He then faceplanted onto the pavement. We finally got him upstairs to our second story room, put him in bed, and I went to bed. I woke up halfway through the night to get a drink of water. He was nowhere to be found. I heard the shower running and assumed he was sobering up so I went back to bed. I woke up an hour later and noticed he still wasn’t in his bed.
When I stepped out of bed I was standing in two inches of water in our room. I went over to the bathroom door and banged on it, telling him to fix the overflowing toilet. Then I laid back down to go back to sleep. I woke up again at about 6 a.m. and my roommate was still not in his bed so I stepped out of bed, now standing in six inches of water. I banged on the door of the bathroom but got no response.
Being worried about him I went in and saw it was not the toilet overflowing but that he was passed out in the shower over the drain blocking the water from draining. I woke my roommate up and explained the situation to him. I opened the front door and all of the water rushed out over the balcony from the second story and onto the ground. He had a great time cleaning up that mess.
What advice would you give someone who just graduated high school and wants to go into the military? (J) For one thing, the Marine Corps is the only real choice but besides that, when choosing a MOS or “job,” pick something that you’re interested in and can see yourself enjoying. There’s more to being in the military than just the infantry. Aviation roles are always exciting no matter what your individual role is in that unit. Be it aircrew maintenance or support personnel.
How did your military service affect your life today? (Besides making you slower lol) (J) It made me appreciate taking my time and it helped me to become more responsible and gave my life direction. It made me a better man.
What advice would you give to military couples? (J) If you’re going to be active duty, try to be single because it’s extremely stressful even as a single person. Because I have seen numerous marriages fail due to that stress, not to mention even the ones that didn’t fail, from what I saw were still a challenge.
What advice would you give to veterans with kids? (J) Find something that you enjoy doing outside of the house to serve as a stress reducer. Enjoy every moment that you can with your kids.
What advice would you give someone who is going to marry a veteran? (J) There will be ups and downs. Prepare yourself and be supportive and accepting of the baggage that comes along with it. Furthermore, if that baggage has not fully surfaced yet. Whether it be PTS (veterans don’t consider it a disorder) or some other disability from service.
What is something that you wish people were more aware of about veterans? (J) Combat PTS comes in many forms and can be caused by many things. You don’t have to have been in a firefight to have debilitating PTS, anxiety, and panic attacks.
Is there anything else you’d like to add? (J) Semper Fi. As my drill instructor would say, “If the Marine Corps didn’t issue it to you, you don’t need it.”
Thank you for your time and for your service John. And for being my husband. (J) I love you.
Wrapping It Up
Generally speaking, there are notably many things that veterans have to deal with on a daily basis therefore, this interview barely scratched the surface. It doesn’t include his regular extreme nightmares or his medications for pain and anxiety. How he has to battle each day to live a “normal” life. Every veteran has their own story to tell and they deserve our respect. God bless the USA.
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