Sgt. Joshua Aaron Thompson is currently serving and has been active in the United States Army for almost 5 years. He joined the Army in 2012 and has since served in Iraq, fighting terrorist organizations like ISIS in Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Inherent Resolve.
Joshua knows that every service members experience is different but, for him, the Army has been a positive, driving force in his life that has taught him leadership skills and responsibility.
“So far it's the best years of my life,” Joshua told us. “Sure there are rough patches, but what workplace doesn't have them? As an infantryman in an armored brigade, our hours are horrible. We must train as a regular infantryman then go train as a mechanized infantryman. So the schedules are longer than some. But I've learned a lot about leadership, too. How to control 12 other men in tight, frustrating, and stressful situations.”
During his service, Joshua says he has never been wounded or scared for his life. He says there have been plenty of times where he’s woken up during the night panicking because he thought he had slept through his alarm. Several times he even got dressed in full uniform...only to discover that he had 4 more hours left to sleep! But his only real fear has been the safety of his men.
“I have always been well aware of what I’ve chosen to do and have come to terms with the possibilities,” Joshua confided. “But I still feared for my military family and their lives and their families lives. I worried about my soldiers' lives both in and out of uniform - about their families and if they had the proper needs being taken care of to function properly. I worried about not being able to bring my soldiers home.”
Josh says that he handled the stresses and worries of duty by reading books or calling home to talk with his family if something was really bothering him.
“The main thing I have learned from my service is how much family means,” Joshua says. “Without their support, everything wouldn't have a purpose and things would become a lot harder.”
When we asked Joshua what advice he would offer someone who is thinking of serving in the military, he said to “Just keep your head up.”
“Things will get rough and seem like it's falling apart but as long as you stay positive things will always fall into place,” he says. “May not be as fast as you want it but you gotta have patience and don't give up and always remember "don't forget to breathe.”
Thank you for your service, Joshua, and thank you for sharing your military service story with our members!
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