Five Minutes With … an Operation Vacation soldier |

Five Minutes With … an Operation Vacation soldier

Name: Ronald S. Burnside

Age: 38

Place of birth: Long Branch, New Jersey

Branch of the military: Army, 43rd Special Troops Battalion at Ft. Carson.

Family: Luz Burnside, wife, two sons Elijah, 15, and Roman, 3. And a daughter Samara, 1-year-old.

When did you join the Army?

I joined the Army in 1997, but I’ve been in the military since ’93.

Why did you join the Army?

I started in the Marine Corp infantry. I got out to go back to college and went back in and the army had better opportunities for jobs.

Where have you been deployed?

Overall, Okinawa, Japan, Kuwait at the end of desert storm, and I spent three years in Germany. I also was in Iraq for a year stationed at Camp Taji in 2005 and 2006, just northeast of Baghdad.

What was your favorite place you’ve been stationed?

Germany was nice. I was there with my family for three years and it was really nice. But as far as places I’ve been through my military career, Thailand, Philippines, Japan, China, Kuala Lumpur, and Hawaii. The most exciting was probably Hong Kong, it’s just a pretty nice city and it’s big.

What military experience most surprised you?

I don’t know if anything surprised me much. But going over during Operation Desert Storm and then returning during Operation Iraqi Freedom was just a whole different thing.

The second time we were there a lot longer but had trailers and more amenities with a chow hall and it was a lot more built up.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Basically I like to play sports, basketball and football mostly, and skiing. I also like to play music. I play the saxophone.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A stunt man. I got to do a lot of stuff similar to that in the military.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received:

Two thing: Don’t take things personally, and never give up at what you need to do.

What are you looking forward to doing while in Glenwood Springs?

Just take in the sites. Actually, we just found out last night that we were going on the trip, so we haven’t had a chance to see the itinerary yet. But my wife is looking forward to going to the Hot Springs Pool. The trip is a nice surprise.

What are your future plans in the military?

I plan to at least do 20 years, so I’ve got about 4 years left. Depending on what job offers are available I may get out at that time, or I may stay in.

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