Military reflections: Duty to give back

Ted Minnick

Ted Minnick was drafted into the U.S. Army on June 23, 1966, and later commissioned as an officer in the field artillery. In July 1969, he was deployed to Vietnam as an artillery battery commander. Three years later, he left active duty and joined the N.C. Army National Guard as a military police company commander. By 1986, he transferred to the Army Reserve as a military police evaluation team chief, where he served until his retirement in February 2006.

“I spent a total of 39 years, seven months and 20 days in the Army, and I don’t regret it,” he says. “The military was good for me and my wife and daughters.”

How did you feel once you were drafted?

I didn’t think twice about serving — it was something I had to do. I never once thought about evading the draft since I was raised as an Air Force brat. My dad had a good 30-year career as an Air Force officer, and I felt it was my duty to give back.

How has your military service influenced who you are today?

The military taught me organization, respect and discipline. Of course, my dad also taught me discipline and respect for others as I was growing up. It was second nature for me, and the military enforced those principles.

When it comes to discussing service with a veteran, what advice would you offer citizens who have not served?

The military will instill in you the discipline you need to live your life. You will also learn that the ones on your left and right are your brothers and sisters and to lean on them when things get rough.


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