(Editor’s note: Lizzy Swaney, of Powell, won the American Legion Post 26’s recent essay contest, which called upon local youth to write about a local veteran. The 11-year-old’s …
(Editor’s note: Lizzy Swaney, of Powell, won the American Legion Post 26’s recent essay contest, which called upon local youth to write about a local veteran. The 11-year-old’s essay appears below.)
My name is Lizzy, and I’m 11 years old. The veteran I chose, Aaron Swaney, is important to me, because he is my father.
The reason why he joined the Army is because he wanted to “support and defend the Constitution and protect the weak from tyrants.”
He served in the Army, packing parachutes for people and equipment, and did maintenance on those parachutes too. He was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, twice: once for jump school, where he learned how to jump out of C-130 and C-141 planes, and the second time for Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course. At rigger school in Virginia, he jumped out of Chinook helicopters. He also served as an infantryman at Fort Irwin, California, for about three years. He trained in weapons systems, ruck marching, training to deploy platoons and his company.
As a first lieutenant, he deployed to Iraq during OIFIII (Operation Iraqi Freedom III), where he patrolled a lot and distributed humanitarian aid packages and helped install water supplies for different towns and villages. He helped with the three elections that took place in his area of operations and also overwatched major road inserections to prevent and interdict IED (roadside bomb) implacements. He came home as a captain.
While serving in the Army, my dad took most pride in “serving the American people according to the Constitution first and foremost. And serving the soldiers under him, so they could do their jobs to the best of their ability.” Now that he’s out of the Army, he takes pride in the men that he led (most of them).
To the best of his ability, my dad tries to help people, and that is why he inspires me. Thank you Dad, for your service.