Enlistment and Basic Training

Interviewee: Lawrence Lopez

b. 1970


Lawrence decided to join the military in order to pay for school. He enlisted in the Army to become a tanker after talking with a recruiter and watching a recruitment video. He describes his training, what a shock it was, and how much he liked firing the tank. From basic training he went to Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. In June 1990 he was deployed to Saudi Arabia for Desert Shield. He talks about the staging process in Kuwait. Lawrence then describes the push into Iraq and the little fighting he saw. He describes the cease fire and the process of going home. On the way out of Iraq their tank was in an accident and Lawrence injured his shoulder. After having his shoulder fixed he was separated from his unit and had to find his way back. He reunited with his unit and a week later they returned to Fort Bliss.


He describes getting home and the big homecoming his family held for him. He had 30 days leave and then, after talking with the retention NCO, decided to stay in. While in training he had an accident in which he lost a quarter of his shin. Because of his injury he had to reenlist and became a supplier en route to Korea. After his enlistment in Korea Lawrence went to the Colorado National Guard where he did supply. He then transferred to the Utah National Guard where he became the NBC specialist. He was then deployed to Afghanistan where he was able to travel all over providing support to teams.


Lawrence talks about his long career in the military. He does not regret anything in his military career and talks about what he wants to do in the future.