Retired Lieutenant Colonel David Reid didn't always have military plans. Reid was a wide-eyed Texas Tech freshman when he stepped on the campus in 1978.
"A guy from, what I found out to be the Army ROTC program at Tech asked me what I was doing and I said I had no clue and he said, let's get you registered for ROTC," said Reid.
To Reid, It was a P.E. credit, so he agreed.
"I get to shoot guns and maybe repel off a building or something? Oh I'll do that," Reid said.
Little did he know that this quick decision would turn into a 21-year long career with the Army.
"I thought I'd stay on active duty for my initial commitment of five years and then get a real job. But at the end of my commitment to the military, I was company commander in Hawaii with the 25th Infantry Division and it's like, this is a real job and this is an important job and it's a fun job and a challenging job. And that five years turned into 21 years," Reid said.
Throughout his 21 years, Reid served in the Sinai Desert in Egypt, Thailand and in Granada.
"That's probably the best thing about military experience... getting the opportunity to see different cultures. It gives you a greater understanding of how great we really have it here," Reid said.
Reid held numerous positions including Rifle Company Commander, Aid to the Commanding General and ultimately a Lieutenant Colonel.
"I realized that this is something that's important, this isn't about making money, this isn't about making a name for yourself, this is something that's important and has a higher purpose," Reid said.
For Reid, some of his most memorable times were while teaching other soldiers, both here in Lubbock at Texas Tech and at West Point in New York.
"Having that interaction and being able to have an impact on the future of the Army was important. And you know, I still have a lot of people that will contact me and send me cards and letters saying, ‘Hey, guess where I am today,'" Reid said.
Reid retired from the Army in 2004 and today you can find him at the AIM Mail Center on 82nd and Quaker, The business he opened after his retirement.
"Going into business isn't easy, there's a lot of risk and a lot of work involved... You get to meet a lot of different people, everyday is different, every day is an adventure," Reid said.
Although he may have traded the battlefield for his small business, his military memories are never far away.
"It was a great 21 years. I can't think of anything else I would rather have done," Reid said.
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