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Phi Beta Delta: Veterans Share Their Experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan

Friday, December 10, 2010

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FromOn Tuesday December 10, three ONU students spoke with students about their experiences serving in the military in Afghanistan and Iraq. The veterans included: Left to Right; Marcus Quinones, Bradley Nungester, Brandon J. Bryant

Marcus Quinones - Married, father of three, Forensic Biology Major. Marcus began his service by joining the Marine Corp as an Infantryman. Because of his ability, Marcus was also asked to join an elite unit within the Marine Corp called the Scout Swimmers. He deployed to Iraq with the Marines. After returning home, he decided to allow his contract to expire due to the birth of his son. However, mere months after returning to civilian life, Marcus realized it was not for him and thus he decided to join the Army where he could retain the rank that he held in the Marine Corp. He redeployed to Iraq with the Army after being sent to his new unit. During this deployment, an enemy explosive hit Marcus and caused severe damage to his leg and knee. After returning from Iraq, he was medically discharged from the Army due to his wounds.

Bradley Nungester- Divorced, no children, Criminal Justice Major. Bradley began his service by joining the Army as an Infantryman. He received orders to be assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division and then deployed with this unit to Iraq in late 2006 to early 2007. One day in Baghdad, Iraq, Bradley's unit was conducting a mounted vehicular patrol when the patrol was forced to stop. He exited his vehicle and was immediately shot in the chest 3 times by an enemy sniper. Luckily, lethal damage was avoided due to his body armor. However, he did suffer several broken ribs. Later, Bradley suffered a series of heart attacks. It is not known whether a correlation existed between his being shot and the heart attacks as he may have suffered from a preexisting genetic condition. The heart condition led to Bradley being medically discharged from the Army.

Brandon J. Bryant- Single, no children, Political Science/International Studies Majors. I began my career by joining the Army as an Airborne Infantryman. After graduating from Advanced Infantry Training at Ft. Benning, GA, I went on to Airborne School and graduated as a Paratrooper. I then received orders to be assigned to the 1st of the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment in Ft. Richardson, Alaska. I deployed to Afghanistan with this unit in October of 2003. I returned home in August of 2004 where I received orders to be reassigned to Ft. Hood, TX to the 1st Batallion of the 22nd Infantry Regimment, 4th Infantry Division. I deployed with this unit to Iraq in December of 2005 and returned home in December of 2006. In March of 2007, my contract expired and I was honorably discharged from active service in the Army.

All of the veterans above received the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat, including myself. All of us ended our military careers as highly decorated veterans.

-Brandon J. Bryant