Damon R. Suiter, Sergeant, US Army (ret)
Veterans Charity Ride Sidecar Passenger
On September 11, 2001 I was working as a landscaper in Gaylord Michigan. The attack on our nation led me to enter the Army National Guard in Michigan. Our family has served during every conflict this naiton has had back to the Revolution. I followed in service as my dad did in VIetnam, my grand dad in World War II and my great – great uncle Clyde did in World War I. A family ancestor, Joseph Suiter served as a Lietenant in the Mexican War and as a Lt. Colonel in the Civil War. So it was the family business and something I was planning on doing – along with law enforcment.
I entered military service Ocotber 2001 following the national tradegy of 9/11 and served two tours of duty overseas. Following basic training I was assigned to the 125th Infantry, Michigan Army National Guard in Alpena Michigan. Concurrently I began service with the Ogemaw County Sheriff’s Office, Corrections Division. I later became the Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Officer. I was scheduled to attend the Police Academy and become a certified law enforcment officer upon my return from Iraq. This would have allowed me to serve in the criminal justice system with three certifications. (I had also attended one Homeland Security Course at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston Alabama as a first responder for terrorist acts.)
My first tour was with the Multi Naitonal Force and Observers in the Sinai Peninsula in 2003 as an 11B Infantryman. I was retrained as a 88M Wheeled Vehicle Operator and served in Iraq 2006 – 2007 as a Hevy Equipment Transport Operator with the 1461st CBT HET out of Jackson Michigan. I was wounded in action January 13, 2007 in an ambush in Mosul Iraq – MSR Tampa and subsequently evacuated to the Miliatry Medical Hospital in Landstuhl Germany with a tramatic brain injury. Following stablizing treatment at Landstuhl I was evacuated as a litter patient to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. Following a long period of treatment I was medically retired from the U.S. Army due to wounds incurred in action. I have been awarded a Purple Heart and Combat Action Badge and other decorations.
I am now retired from the U.S. Army and was unable to continue my law enforcement career due to the wounds I received in Iraq. I now continue in treatment and work with other veterans providing them with support to the extent I am able, i.e. referring them to agencies and people that can help them. My dad helps a lot with this effort. I enjoy my two sons and German Sheppard Jasper.
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