But Moran noted that he almost didn’t make it to boot camp at all later that summer. While working on a summer job for the city, he contracted a horrible case of poison ivy on his legs, which required significant medical care, and he even had to walk with a cane.
“I told my recruiter what happened, and he was like, ‘Sorry that happened, but you better figure it out,’” Moran said. “I definitely wasn’t 100 percent when I went to boot camp, but I made it through.”
Indeed, Moran made it through boot camp in the scorching heat of Fort Jackson, S.C., and went on to serve his next 10 years in Hawaii, first at Schofield Barracks Army Base in Oahu, and then at nearby Wheeler Army Airfield. His job that first decade was in Human Resources, but he also deployed three times to Iraq during that period, one year for each tour.
During his time in Iraq, he was thankful he didn’t have to go “outside the wire” very often, but while stationed near Sadam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit in 2006, he’ll never forget the heavy bombings that came the day after Hussein was executed.
“It was intense,” he said. “We got bombed and bombed that day, and the ground shook constantly.”