Standing Together

Standing Together: Ohio Veterans and the War on Terror

As part of an ongoing effort to document service experiences in the modern era, the Ohio History Connection presents Standing Together: Ohio Veterans and the War on Terror. This project was conducted in 2015 and includes members of the United States Army, Air Force and Marines serving in full-time and reservist capacities. The project was generously supported by Ohio Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and it greatly benefited from a relationship with the Ohio National Guard.

The primary selection criteria for the project was that each individual served in some capacity after September 11, 2001, as part of the War on Terror. Thanks to recruitment efforts by the Ohio National Guard, all the individuals also served in some capacity with the Ohio National Guard. Despite these two commonalities, the experiences documented by this project vary drastically. This breadth speaks to the many facets of the United States military and outlines the rapidly-changing nature of modern conflict, as well as our military’s corresponding changes to meet that challenge. That said, several key themes emerge across the collection: a strong sense of duty and “selfless service,” coupled with humility when talking about their own service experiences; the balance and friction between military service and life at home; the difficulty one has returning to civilian life after the experience of war, and how that difficulty can present itself in unexpected ways; and the changes in modern warfare logistics that put everyone, from the supply line to the front line, in harm’s way.

Please Note: Oral histories are to be considered historical materials. As such, they may contain offensive language, ideas or negative stereotypes reflecting the culture or language of a person, period or place. The Ohio History Connection is presenting these items as part of the historical record.

Aquino_Andrew_102715Andrew Aquino
Andrew Aquino was born in Chillicothe, Ohio. Chaplain Colonel Aquino served in the Ohio Army National Guard and United States Armed Forces, deploying to Kosovo from 2004-2005 and the Iraq-Kuwait theatre from 2005-2006. He continues to serve as the State Chaplain for Ohio where he oversees Army and Air Guard chaplains.
Research Interactive     |     Digital Record

Ballard_Chris_120815Andre “Chris” Ballard
Andre C. or Chris Ballard was born in 1983 in Hampton, Virginia. Ballard served in the Ohio Army National Guard and United States Armed Forces. He was mobilized to Louisiana in 2005 to provide relief after hurricane Katrina. Ballard was also deployed in 2003 to Wright-Patterson Air Force base as a part of Operation Noble Eagle, and in 2008-2009 to Egypt on a peacekeeping mission. In 2011-2012 Ballard served as Rear Detachment Commander for a unit that was going to Afghanistan.
Research Interactive     |     Digital Record

Burke_Leonard_112315Leonard Burke
Leonard P. Burke III was born in 1980 in Youngstown, Ohio. Burke served in the Ohio National Guard and the United States Armed Forces deploying to Iraq in 2009. He trained in avionics and for Blackhawk helicopter repair at Fort Eustis, Virginia. He served as a Blackhawk crew chief for a variety of missions during the Iraq war.
Research Interactive     |     Digital Record

Chou_Nicholas_111215Nicholas Chou
Nicholas A. Chou was born in 1974 in Lowell, Massachusetts. Chou served in the Ohio National Guard and the United States Armed Forces in 2004 he was a part of post-Katrina support in Louisiana and deployed to Kuwait in 2006. Initially he worked as a mechanic, but his faith lead him to transfer into the chaplaincy.
Research Interactive     |     Digital Record

Kristin CruikshankCruikshank_Kristin_101715
Kristin Cruikshank was born in 1981 in Newark, Ohio. Kruikshank enlisted in the United States Army and served in the Ohio National Guard. She was based in Germany for several years and was deployed to Iraq in 2003. She trained to be, and served as a cook, but has held a variety of positions and been a part of many different missions throughout her service.
Research Interactive     |     Digital Record

Field_James_110315James Field
James G. Field was born in Newark, Ohio, in 1984. Field served in the Ohio National Guard and the United States Armed Services deploying to Afghanistan in 2012. He served next to his brother in the 148th Infantry Regiment during Operation Enduring Freedom.
Research Interactive     |     Digital Record

Galeti_Russell_110915Russel Galeti, Jr.
Russell P. Galeti, Jr. was born in Garfield Heights, Ohio, in 1980. He enlisted in the Ohio National Guard in 1998 as an M1 Abrams armor crewman. He deployed to Iraq in 2004, and to Hungary and Afghanistan in 2009 where he worked with the Afghan National Army.
Research Interactive     |     Digital Record


Garcia-Castro_Claudio_102815Claudio Garcia-Castro
Claudio Garcia-Castro was born in Matamoros, Mexico, in 1970.  Garcia-Castro moved to South Vienna, Ohio, in 1981 with his parents who relocated for a new job. He moved to Columbus to go to The Ohio State University where he studied dietetics. He enlisted in the United States Army and later the Ohio National Guard. He deployed to Bosnia in 1999 and to Iraq from 2004-2005 and 2008-2009.
Research Interactive     |     Digital Record

Kitchen_David_110215David Kitchen
David Kitchen was born in London, Ohio, in 1988. He enlisted in the Ohio Air National Guard in 2009 and served the United States Armed Force deploying to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan in 2013. He specialized in Air Transportation and continues to serve in the Guard and as an Emergency Medical Technician.
Research Interactive     |     Digital Record

Molinski_Matt_100815Matt Molinski
Matt Molinski was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Molinski joined the United States Army and the Ohio Army National Guard in 1996 under a “2×4” contract. He deployed to Iraq in 2004-2005 and to Southern Iraq and Kuwait in 2008 as company commander and company executive officer, respectively.
Research Interactive     |     Digital Record

Ogden_Tyler_113015Tyler Ogden
Tyler Ogden was born in 1982 in Springfield, Ohio. He served in the Ohio Air National Guard and the United States Armed Forces, deploying to Baghdad in 2011. He was wounded in a rocket explosion near Al-Faw Palace, for which he received the Purple Heart. He now serves as a recruiter for the Ohio Air National Guard.
Research Interactive     |     Digital Record

Paley_Robert_111615Robert Paley
Robert H. Paley was born in 1966 in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Schofield Barracks. Paley’s father was wounded in Korea, but continued to serve in Vietnam and later despite warnings about further complications from his injury. Ultimately worsening health forced his father to spend many years in a veteran’s hospital. Paley’s graduation from West Point and continued service are a reflection of the determination to honor his father’s memory. Paley enlisted in the United States Army in 1984 and the Ohio National Guard in 2001, deploying in 1989 to Germany and again in 2008 to Afghanistan.
Research Interactive     |     Digital Record

Poole_Michelle_100915Michelle Poole
Michelle D. Poole was born in 1981 in Galion, Ohio. She enlisted in the Ohio National Guard in in 1999 and served in the United States Armed Forces deploying in 2003 to Afghanistan and in 2005 for post-Katrina support. Poole trained as an Automated Logistical Specialist and later reclassified as a Motor Transport Operator.
Research Interactive     |     Digital Record

Rickey_Timothy_102715Timothy Rickey
Timothy A. Rickey was born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1971. He enlisted in the United States Army in 2002, shortly after 9/11, and served as a combat medic through two tours of duty to Iraq in 2003 and 2004-2005. He joined the Ohio National Guard as an Active Reserve unit in 2005 where he acts as the Medical Training Instructor.
Research Interactive     |     Digital Record

Rozanski_Alex_101915Alex Rozanski
Alex J. Rozanski was born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1980. Rozanski enlisted in the United States Marine Corp Reserves in 1997 where he was an Infantryman serving in the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, Lima Company. He deployed to Iraq in 2005 and was assigned to Haditha Dam in Anbar Province. He enlisted in the Ohio National Guard in 2011.
Research Interactive     |     Digital Record

Schumacher_Randall_110315Randall Schumacher
Randall Schumacher was born in New Iberia, Louisiana, in 1983. He enlisted in the Ohio Army National Guard in 2010 as a CBRN Event Specialist. He deployed to Afghanistan with the 684th Area Support Medical Unit and was assigned the role of “battle captain” as a Sergeant.
Research Interactive     |     Digital Record

Thomas_David_103015David Thomas
David R. Thomas was born in Ravenna, Ohio, in 1956. He enlisted in the Marine Corps as part of a delayed entry program and entered service in 1976. He then enlisted in the Ohio Army National Guard in 1981 and served three tours of duty; two in Iraq/Kuwait and one in Afghanistan.
Research Interactive     |     Digital Record


Do You Have a Story to Share?

We are currently interviewing Ohio veterans from all branches of service. If you have served in the United States Armed Forces and would like to share your story, please contact us to register for an interview.

Funding for Standing Together generously provided by:

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