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Veterans’ Voices: Patriot Systems Operator Thomas Cherry

U.S. Army

Dates Employed May 2004 – February 2006

35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade – 14 Tango, PATRIOT Launching Station Enhanced Operator/Maintainer

During his career, Thomas Cherry received the National Defense Service Medal for his service in the Global War on Terrorism.



I joined the Army when I was still a teenager, and I served for five years, so the experience really had a lasting impression on me. Starting with my first duty station in South Korea, I thought the greatest part of being in the military was having the chance to experience different cultures. In my unit alone, we had guys from Guam, from all over the U.S., and I learned so much. I still love traveling to different countries and learning about their way of life. And I try to take my son out of the country and even to different states as much as possible so he can experience different perspectives and cultures.

It’s also important to me to stay in touch with my Army friends who are still stationed all over the world. A few weeks ago, one got married, and I was in his wedding party. We try to still be there for each other. And on Veteran’s Day, it’s good to have a day that’s all about brotherhood and the bond I built with so many people from around the world. It’s when we can all thank each other for the sacrifices we made—for being each other’s battle buddies. It’s really like a great big family reunion.

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