LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – It is said that soldiers
do not go to war because they hate the people who fight in
front of them, but because of the love they have for the
ones they left behind.
January 5, 2013 - Sgt. Tad Randell, a Midland, Texas, native,
serves as a combat medic with 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment,
4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, at Forward Operating
Base Mehtar Lam, Afghanistan. Randell serves to continue family
tradition, to ensure the safety of friends and family and because he
is a firm believer in the patriotism and selflessness of serving as
a soldier. Photo by Army 1st Lt. Alan Llanas
“If I can do my job right,
when my kids walk across that stage to receive their high
school diploma and a recruiter asks if they want to serve.
They can say, ‘Thanks, but my dad has done enough serving
for all of us,'” said Sgt. Tad Randell, a combat medic with
2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat
Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Forward Operating Base Mehtar
If you ask Randell, a Midland,
Texas, native, about his vocation or the country he serves,
you will not get a word of discouragement, but rather a
sense of pride. It is no surprise considering he has a
special military history running in his bloodline.
“My initial inspiration to join the military came from my
grandfather who served in the Air Force as part of the
Berlin Airlift Operation, said Randell. “He inspired me to
believe that every able body should enlist once in the
military. If everyone enlisted, then people in this country
would be more appreciative and proud of a country that, I
believe, God allowed them to be born in."
was old enough, Randell attempted to enlist in the military,
but was turned away.
As luck would have it, he would
get another opportunity years later while working as a
manager at a restaurant located next to a military
Day after day, the recruiters
bombarded Randell with the idea of serving in the Army. It
was not until Randell pondered his future and decided what
he wanted to do.
“I was at that age where I thought
to myself ‘Is this what I really want to do for the rest of
After much meditation, Randell decided to
take the road his grandfather traveled.
into becoming a medic because a family friend, a corpsman in
the Navy, told me about the amazing things he's done in his
career,” he said. “I also had a wife and son to think about,
so I chose something in the medical profession because I
thought it would be easier to find a job in the civilian
Though friends were doubtful he would be
able to survive the demanding challenges that lay before
him, Randell was determined to complete his goal.
first, Randell only wanted to fulfill his initial term and
return to civilian life. Then a turn of events changed him
when he deployed to support Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“I learned a lot from that experience,” said Randell.
“After doing what I had done, and seen what I've seen, you
start to put things into perspective. Words such as honor,
virtue, and pride, I've learned, still have tangible
meaning. You see it heavily represented in shows and movies
about soldiers who served in World War II. That same pride
is still alive today.”
Randell said a source of his
pride came from his multiple deployments.
slow, but there was progress being made for these people. I
witnessed the Iraqis slowly take command, control and pride
in their country, and I've also seen the same gradual
results everyday here in Afghanistan.” he said.
for the flag he proudly wears on his sleeve, Randell spoke
about how lucky he was to be serving a country that grants
everybody the opportunity to aspire to whatever goal they
Throughout his travels, Randell was
frequently reminded how blessed he was to have the luxuries
and freedoms his country provides.
“I have traveled
all over the world, but there is nowhere on this planet I
would rather be than in the United States. Where else can
you find a place where a man can start off with nothing and
end up with everything?” said Randell. “That's the American
Ultimately, Randell wishes his service to
his country will be enough to make certain his wife and
children are safe. He believes in the notion that soldiers
who have been fighting since 1775 have helped to preserve
the welfare of this nation and its people.
the commitment to lay my life down on the line for my
country and I'll be doing that until the day I die,” he
said. “I believe this country was founded on the principles
of God. I could've been born anywhere else, but I was
blessed to be born in the United States and be known in
history as an American soldier.”
By Army 1st Lt. Alan Llanas
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