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"I feel very strongly that I have a duty to the country. It's my service to the country." (Audio Interview, 1:40)

   Michael Brian Daake
Collection image
Michael Daake in Iraq
War: Iraq War, 2003-2011
Branch: Army
Unit: 113th Engineer Battalion; Army National Guard
Service Location: Iraq
Rank: Captain
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When Michael Daake enlisted in the Army at the age of 17 in 1988, he had in mind the service's promise of aid for a college education. But he found opportunities within the Army and stayed, going to Officers Candidate School. He began serving in a National Guard unit in 1997 and they were deployed to Iraq in the third phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom. As a liaison stationed in Mosul, he worked 15-hour days, with no time off between December 2004 and August 2005. Since returning from duty, he has taken pride in training other National Guard personnel, but he is also dismayed that the American public is not focused on the war and supporting the troops.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (7 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: audio (41 min.)
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 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (7 items)
Why he stayed in the Army rather than go to college. (00:19) Daily meeting, Battle Update Brief, reviewed and previewed action; part of it was Humor of the Day; a veteran and well loved Sergeant Major was the butt of an especially funny joke one day. (02:21) Typical day's routine; a run, a couple of meetings; bulk of it spent coordinating missions among various staffs through e mails; two late afternoon meetings; coordinating work continued into the evening; going on leave for two weeks and coming back to dealing with an entirely new brigade. (03:50)
The chances for being redeployed; working as a training officer for the National Guard. (01:26) Seeing big changes in the country in the one year he was there; mainstream U.S. media doesn't report on progress and positive stories. (01:36) Challenge of readjusting to stateside way of life; sense of urgency is missing. (01:47)
Need to stay on mission until it's complete; urges public to stay focused on the war and support the effort; accepts personal sacrifice as part of the job. (02:32)  

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  October 26, 2011
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