November 11 marks an important day for America. Veteran’s Day is a day when we honor and thank all military personnel who have served, or currently serve in the United States Armed Forces.
Sometimes we don’t notice that veterans are among us or we don’t know the story of the person with whom we work or have a friendship. But it is so vital to know the stories of people that surround you. Today we want to share with you a story from the veteran, who leads our company. Ernesto Lanazca, CEO, Co-founder of Homeland Language Services gave an interview about his military period of life.
- Ernesto, thank you for sharing your story today with us. The first question is about where did you enlist?
- I’m happy to share my story because it is an honor for me to have such a period in my life. I enlisted in the US Army in August 2000.
- Where did you live at that time?
- I lived in Ventura, California.
- Why did you join the US Army?
- I was always fascinated with Supply Chain Management. Many years ago I studied Logistics Management in Lima, Peru where I learned how the US military during World War I & World War II increased logistics’ industrial capabilities, making dramatic advances in transportation, communication, storage, and warehousing. After World War II, Logistics moved from warfare into business. That was the moment when I decided to join the military to study Logistics at the US Army Quartermaster School in Fort Lee Virginia.
- Do you remember your first days in service?
- My first day in the US Army was the first day of basic training. As I lay in my bunk on that first night, thoughts were rushing through my head and my mind was scrambling trying to remember everything my Drill Sergeants taught me. My muscles and mind were fatigued. On that first night, I felt helpless but excited about what would happen the following day.
- What did you feel during the serving period?
- It’s a drastic sudden change from normal civilian life into a military lifestyle full of regulations, norms, expectations. However, I could get used to it, thanks to my determination on my ultimate goals, and as a result, I enjoyed it.
- Which war did you serve in?
- That was the Iraq War from 2003 till 2011.
- How did you stay in touch with your family?
- In the 2000s we already had more contact methods than in World War II. I communicated with my family via phone calls, letters, and mail packages.
- What was the food like?
- At the US Army base, the food was pretty good, but during the war, all I ate was Meal Ready to Eat (MREs).
- Wow, MREs for eight years, that’s pretty difficult. Did you have plenty of supplies?
- The supplies were limited but enough.
- You told us about off-duty life, but what was with your mood? Was there something special you did for “good luck”?
- I always kept a picture of the Virgin Mary inside my war helmet. Not only for good luck but just to save my life.
- Did you keep a personal diary?
- Yes, I did. It is saved in our family till nowadays.
- Thank you for an excursion to the past. Let’s talk a little about the present day. Did you get close friends while serving?
- Yes, I did. But, unfortunately, some of them didn’t make it back to the USA.
- Did you join a veterans organization?
- Yes, I joined the American Legion and 101st Airborne Division, Aviation Brigade.
- What do you think now about your service experience?
- Even though there were moments that were tough, stressful, and tragic, there were times that I enjoyed, making unconditional friends – Battle Buddies.
I do not regret my experience in the US Army.
The military educated me in my favorite profession, Logistics Operations, it gave me discipline, purpose, determination, team leadership skills, love for this country, and the American Flag. Most importantly it taught me the meaning of life and Value of Service, Loyalty, and Honor.
I am proud to be a veteran and also, I’m proud to have served with such great American soldiers by my side.