Veterans Interview with Cassandra Pietz, retired Private 1st class, U.S. Army, at Patriot’s Landing in DuPont, Washington. Cassandra joined the Army in New Hampshire when she was 17 years old.
View Episode Transcript
*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
And now back to answers for elders as we honor our military veterans. Carriage is the proud sponsor of our veteran segment. Posted by former CTL Seahawk Dennis Boyd. Co Morning, this is Dennis Boyd here at Patriots landing in Dupont Washington. We’re here today with Cassandra Pete’s Private First Class, now retired US army. Cassandra, thank you for joining us. Thank you, because Sam, tell me a little bit about you join the army at a pretty young age, didn’t you? Yes, I was seventeen years old. Okay. And where were you? I was in New Hampshire, okay. And what? What was the sparker that got you interested in joining the the US Army? I was in OURTC in high school and we had gone to an armed forces day to do a color guard presentation and I had met an army recruiter and I didn’t know what I wanted to do after high school, but I knew that I didn’t want to do any more schooling. Okay, so I had met this recruiter and he had sparked my interests because in the army you could do whatever you wanted to do. So I met this recruiter, I went home and told my parents I’m going to join the army. First thing my dad said to me was no, you’re not. My Mom’s like he can do whatever you want to do when you get older. Doesn’t matter to me. So when my seventeen birthday rolled around, both my parents signed my papers so that I could join the US army and I went to maps in Boston, Massachusetts. I actually had to go three times because they wanted to make sure that I could finish my junior year of high school before I got shipped to basic training. I did end up leaving before my senior year was over, so I basically got to finish high school with all the seniors that year. So I went to basic between my junior and senior year high school in two thousand and one. I graduated from basic on August thirty one, two thousand and one, and the number one thing that sticks in my head always is the drill sergeant said to us on the bus ride back to the barracks was ninety percent of you will not see war in your military career. And eleven days later they hit the world trade centers. So I keep thinking in my head that he regrets those words that he said to all of us. Yeah, things changed a little bit, yes, they did. So what happened to you after that? I went back to New Hampshire and finished my senior year. I was the only student in the high school allowed to carry my cell phone because I was in an active reserve unit and could get a phone call at any time. I remember my cell phone ring in first period and my entire class turn green. It was my first sergeant who called and told me to have my bags backed and be ready to go to New York because I was in a detachment for a combat support hospital. Okay, they decided not to take me. They took the main part of the Combat Support Hospital and certain people from our detachment and Vermont in certain people from a detachment in upstate New York and brought them down to New York City to help the people that were responding to the world trade centers and to treat the people that were they were taking out of the World Trade Centers. This recent trained to railant that we had must have been a little bit of a flashback then. It was interesting. I guess I’m somebody WHO’s always has a plan so even when things happen, I always am quick to have a plan of what to do. What? What are the first things you have to do? So I guess I’ve always been calm, cool and collective under pressure. Yeah, one thing that I tell all the other managers here. We used to have francy and who ran activities, and she’d be like, I have a problem, I have a problem, and it’s like, well, you can’t go to the boss with a problem, you have to go to the blossom with here’s the problem, but here’s my solution. So you can’t just go here’s the problem, you need to have your solution when you go. So that’s one of the things that I guess I bring to the table here. Yes, so that’s just the way, and I guess it’s probably because both of my parents were first responders. When I was young, I was the little kid that was running around the fire station in the middle of the night when mom and dad responded to the fire or to the car accident or whatever happened. Yeah, so you actually you were in reserve then from till two thousand and two. Yes, when I graduated, and the right and then you wanted to active duty and I went to my AI, which was my job training for the army, and when I got back, I say I enlisted for active duty. Okay. And where were you stationed then? Fort Louis for this. Okay. So, and what were you doing here at Port Lewis? And for those two years I was when I first got to Fort Louis, I was attached to fourteen Grand Ambulance Company. Okay, I was at fourteen for twenty nine days before we left to go to Iraq. HMM. Okay, so just a very quick here’sport Louis. Here’s what you need to know. Pack your bags. Were going to Iraq. Things happen a little quickly. Yes, yes, and Ding. So tell me about okay, what happened once you got over to Iraq? Then? What? No, once we got over to Iraq, we moved to a place called Qest. It was about an hour south of Mosul, which is the northernmost spot where we had American troops at the time. And we had because I was a patient administrative specialist, I was basically a number for them to deploy. I worked in a treatment tent while I was there. We had we’re attached. We didn’t technically have attachment orders to the hundred and first airborne. We had them before we left the United States but didn’t have them once we got there and then they tried to get him back for us, but we worked with them. I was in a treatment tent that was like a sick call for the hundred first airborne soldiers. There were two squads of our Grand Ambulance Company that was on that section of the airfield with me. We had a fast team out of Fort Rag that worked in the back of the hangar. So if some but he needed surgery or something that couldn’t wait to get up north to the combat support hospital, we were able to provide it for them there. It’s it had an extra tent and a little I guess I had an extra tent. I believe we had a dental cleaning tent for your teeth. Then we had the sick called tent and then we had the surgical tent in the back. Wow and talking to some of the other the women here that were nurses and Vietnam and Korea, it’s interesting to hear how the response and how the military is keeps modifying and changing and improving how they respond to two wounded soldiers and it sounds like it’s just it keeps getting more and more that they get treatment as quickly as it possibly can. then. Yes, so you’re here now at Patriots landing. Yes, tell me about your what you do here? I have been at Patriots landing for twelve years in May. Wow, yes, obviously it’s something you enjoy doing. Yeah, I thoroughly enjoy my residence. Yeah, they are the number one reason that I’m still here. I started out as a housekeeper and now I am the Environmental Service Director, so I n both housekeeping and maintenance, so my job changes on a daily, hourly basis. Well, you’ve done everything, from the twelve days of goodness that we had down here, setting up everything and making sure that we were well taking care of and that things flowed smoothly and to I see you’re constantly around the facility here just making sure everything’s functioning in that the keeping the residence safe. Yes, you know, I just from you know, just your ordinary everyday type of obstacles that can get in the way. So appreciate that, and I truly do when I see the residents and how they light up when you walk around because they they actually truly love having you here and I think that you and I spoken to other veterans about the the bond that’s made from and it, and it’s even a generational thing, from the fact that you’ve served, means a lot to them. Yes, and and in served and mean and to a point where you were up there. You are our front line in the Iraq war and in two thousand and two three, excuse me, and so that we appreciate. So one of the questions that we ask people, and this can apply either to hear working here at Patriots landing or during your time of service, is we’re ask people you know for the best of times, what were some of the best memories that you had in the some one were the more difficult memories? So I was in newby. I have one for both. Actually, I was in new be to my unit before we deployed to Iraq. There was seventy, seventy two people in my unit that deployed and there were split exactly. We had exactly the same number of men and the exactly the same number of women in our unit. It didn’t matter if you were white, orange, black, blue, green, whatever. If we stopped on the side of the road and had to pull security. The Iraqi people thought that women were in the military to pleasure of the men. So when we first got over there, so if we stopped on the side of the road and they started to approach us, all the guys would step in front of us. If we were hanging out in a tent, when we came back to Kuwait to get ready to come home, and one of US looked like we were having a bad day or we were missing home or something like that, the guys or the girls, no matter what, they would do something to lift our spirits. If somebody was missing their kids or their wife or whatever, somebody would sit down and have a conversation with them. or it just everybody. It was like a family, like you. Weren’t just a bunch of people that were put in a unit to go somewhere and do thing. We were all a family. We’re all a good majority of us or friends on facebook. I still have my old commander my old first sergeant, who both retired in the last year, on my facebook. They wish me happy birthday and my old exo I wish them a happy birthday. So it’s if something’s going on in our lives, they reach out and say hey, and I wasn’t in that unit very long. When I got back I got transferred to a different one. So I basically was in the unit just to deploy. But I still have the connection with those people because we deployed. Yeah, you make a very strong bond w yes, you go through very difficult times together. MMM, that’s great, Cassandra. Thank you. I want to appreciate that. I wish we had more time, but as as the radios go, that they have. We ever saw a lot of a certain amount of time. But it’s been a pleasure to know you and to see how you work here at Patriots lanning and then to hear your story one of the more recent veterans. This has been a special honoring Veterans Presentation of answers for elders brought to you by carriage. For more information about carriage, the website is sere agecom.
No post found!
Originally published February 24, 2018