Wayne Alexander, Elder at the South Side Church of Christ in Milwaukee, WI served in the US Army for 3 years and the U.S. Postal service for over 40 years. He was encouraged and inspired by his stepfather who also served in the army. Wayne identified his most traumatic military experience as picking up a helmet with a soldier’s brains in it while serving in the infantry company. Some of the setbacks from Wayne’s military service include suffering from PTSD for a number of years. Wayne finally got some counseling after being encouraged by someone he served with.
Wayne’s happiest military experience was his last job in Vietnam was being in charge of helicopter resupply for the battalion he was in. Wayne really enjoyed the challenge and it was a way that he could see that his efforts were helpful to the men he served with. Wayne said that his experience in the military taught him responsibility and helped him to become aware of talents that have been a blessing to this day. Wayne stated, “I think the perception of the military has changed quite a bit since Vietnam. More people seem to understand the commitment and sacrifice that’s part of serving. Most soldiers I served with in a combat setting were more interested in their own survival and those they served with rather than the politics or orders we did not understand.”
When asked what improvements he would make if he had the authority, Wayne stated, “I have been removed from the military for a long time but know that many good things have been implemented. From the standpoint of one who served in a combat unit, I would make it mandatory that those who make military combat decisions or strategies must have served in a combat unit because they would not make those important decisions on the basis of politics or self-serving advancement.”
Wayne tells those who ask about serving in the military, that it is an honorable means of serving our country. Serving teaches discipline, responsibility, and encourages all to discover and utilize their talents which will have many benefits that last a lifetime Wayne is proud of his military service and even though many do not believe in serving in the military it was truly a blessing for him. However, he does not begrudge those who chose to not serve.
- By Wayne Alexander
- Wayne Alexander has served as an elder at the South Side Church of Christ in Milwaukee, WI for many years. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback for his article please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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