Both Roy and myself hail from Chicago and after graduating high school attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. During college, we both joined the U.S. Army Reserves and were assigned to the 389th Engineering Battalion. During our senior year of college, our reserve unit was activated to go to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
I was able to complete my degree because I joined the active duty army and attended the Special Warfare Training Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, for the psychological operations (PSYOP) course. After completing the PSYOP course, I was assigned to the 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne). I then deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Subsequently, I was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
When the 389th was called up, Roy was forced to put a halt to his education and deploy with the reserve unit. When Roy returned from Iraq, he completed his degree in business administration and became a district manager for Aldi Corporation in the Baltimore area, where he administered daily operations for several stores.