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"You can't be on guard 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a whole year without it affecting you in some way." (Video Interview, 17:03)

   Larry Bond
Image of Larry Bond
Larry Bond [2006]
War: Cold War; Iraq War, 2003-2011
Branch: Army; Army
Unit: 131st Transportation Company, Army National Guard
Service Location: Fort Bliss, Texas; Germany; Fort Lewis, Washington; California; Fort Dix, New Jersey; Camp Arifjan, Kuwait; Iraq
Rank: Sergeant; Specialist Four
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At the age of 19, Larry Bond enlisted in Army, attracted by the promise of a good specialty, that of radar mechanic. He served for seven years; twelve years later, he was drawn back into serving in the military, this time as a citizen soldier in the Army National Guard. His unit was activated for duty in Iraq in the early days of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In his capacity as a truck driver, he saw enough errors committed by his own men, especially officers, to make him extremely wary, a condition which carried over in his re-entry into the civilian world.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (4 clips)
»Complete Interview 
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 Video (Interview Excerpts) (4 items)
Arriving in the Middle East; original plan was to begin in Turkey and enter Iraq from there, but they actually began in Kuwait; he was a truck driver but also had other duties; soldier in his unit picked up a device from a bombed-out truck and brought it back to camp; it turned out to be an explosive which went off, injuring him and several other men; this was preventable because the soldier had shown off the device and no one did anything about it. (07:03) whenever a car passed him if a bomber might be in it; a market next to their base's wall was bombed and only after that was the market moved; he blames the leadership for not anticipating that; his truck getting stranded for two hours one night when an escort got lost; a near-fatal mix-up at a check point. (10:24) Unit deactivated in April 2004; there were some injuries but no fatalities in his unit; took some time off after he got home; did not go back to his old job; has a problem with authority; was angry over a fatal job accident caused by his company rushing a worker. (05:46)
How the military affected his life in a positive way; authority must be questioned. (01:40)  
  
 

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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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