United States Army Veteran Calvin Young

United States Army Veteran Calvin YoungCalvin Young

Military Branch: United States Army

Units Served: E(-) 106th AVN, 101st Airborne Div., 108th SSB, JFHQ, IL NGAI

Role in the Unit: Avionics Radar Specialist, Engineering Officer, State Partnership Officer, Executive Director

Years of Military Service: 26

Highest Military Ranking: 03

Overseas Service: Multiple deployments to include State Partnership in Republic of Poland, Bilateral Engagement Safety Training Team between 2001 and 2015.

What motivated you to join the military? The military offers a wide array of professional skills and not to mention the educational values. I joined to see the world and serve the greatest country on the planet. My experience lived up to the expectations I had over 25 years ago.

 What is an achievement that you are most proud of in your military service? I am currently serving as the Executive Director for the National Guard Association of Illinois. We secure benefits for the Soldiers, Airmen and their families. 

How did you stay connected to home and to loved ones while deployed? In the earlier days, it was very difficult to connect and stay connected however technology has allowed us talk, video chat and carry on conversations real-time. WhatsApp, Facebook, and other applications have afforded us an opportunity to stay in the loop on all the important dates with our families and loved ones.

Who is someone you looked up to or someone who meant a lot to you while serving in the military? I have always looked up to my Mom and dad as they were the motivation while I served. A gentleman as well as The Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard, Major General Enyart was a person that believed in inclusion and diversity during his tenure.

How did/does your military experience impact your life today? The Military has made me the man who I am today as I am a better critical thinker as I approach daily activities. Additionally, the experience of working with individuals from around the country has shed a light on the people that serve this great nation.

What was it like on your last day of service? I’m still connected with our Active and Retired Soldiers and Airmen so I haven’t quite left yet.

Are returning to civilian life, how were you initially received by veterans/family/community? 100% support from the Community. However we need to better job of honoring and remembering our Minority Soldiers as the sacrifice often gets lost. 

Did you, and how do you, stay in touch with people you served with? I am in touch with the men and women that served with me during my time.

What would you like people to know about your military experience? I have realized that only 7.3 percent of all living Americans have served in the military at some point in their lives. I was or am one of the few that chose this path. It brings great pride to be part of this demographic.

 What questions do you wish people would ask you? How can I join.