Name: Lee Sullivan
Age Joined: 20
Rank: Petty Officer Second Class / E5
Years Served: 4 years
What made you want to serve our country?
I wanted to do something that I could be proud of and might help others. I was in search of experience, independence, and I wanted to fulfill the sense of obligation I had to the greatest country on earth. As soon as I started thinking about the military, I really couldn’t shake the feeling that it was what I was supposed to be doing.
What advice would you give someone looking to go into the military?
It is important to do research and talk to individuals who have done what you are interested in doing. Finding the right branch and job for you can be the difference between a fulfilling career and something you regret. When I would come across individuals who only joined because they wanted to go to college, they usually did not have a good time in the military. Not that there is anything wrong with taking advantage of the great benefits. But if that is the sole reason for joining… then they may be disappointed.
What is your favorite quote?
“Speak softly and carry a big stick.” -Theodore Roosevelt
Did you make any close friendships while in the service? Did you continue any of those relationships?
Absolutely. Some of my closest friends I met in the Military and I still keep in touch or see them when possible.
What was the best and worst ‘military’ food you were served, and why?
I think the worst was the vegetarian pasta MRE.
Best had to have been the food we had while in Jordan.
Tell me a funny story you experienced that could only happen in the military.
In Basic Training, while marching in formation across the base, a guy in the front got crapped on by a gull. The RDC (Navy Drill Instructor) thought it was hilarious and had us do an extra lap around base, so he could show off his recruit that had bird dung from his shoulder to his boot.
How does your military experience affect your life today?
It has made me a more resourceful and confident person. I have a better work ethic and a Stronger sense of patriotism and love for our country.
Were you awarded any medals or citations? How did you get them?
Do you recall the day your service ended? Where were you?
Yes. I was stationed in Virginia Beach and had recently returned from my second deployment. I said my goodbyes got in my vehicle and headed for Johnson City the same day.
What did you do in the days and weeks afterward?
I enrolled at ETSU the following day and my girlfriend and I spent a memorable weekend moving into our new apartment. I spent some needed time getting settled and adjusting to my new life before starting school and work.
Where did you travel while in the service?
I was Stationed in Virginia, but I ended up training across the U.S. in Illinois, Michigan, Washington, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Kentucky. I almost spent as much time out of the country as I did in it. To include Bahrain, Jordan, and Kuwait.
Do you recall your first days in service?
Yes. It consisted of some of the coldest temperatures I had ever experienced, a lot of shouting, waiting, and sleep deprivation. The first several days of Boot Camp are the worst though. It felt surreal and seemed to make everyone pretty homesick.
Did you work or go back to school?
Both. I am currently pursuing my bachelor’s in finance at ETSU and working part time on campus,
Is there anything you would like to add that we have not covered in this interview?
God Bless America