Mil­i­tary role con­tin­ues af­ter more than 20 years of ser­vice

Souderton Independent - - FRONT PAGE - By Jen­nifer Con­nor

Steve Wal­ter, who grew up in the Soud­er­ton area, con­tin­ues to em­brace his role in the mil­i­tary. He could get into the nitty-gritty de­tails of each of the tours, but there is just too much to tell.

To bHgLQ, KLV fiUVW WouU wDV 2Ser­a­tion Desert Storm and Desert SKLHld, WKH fiUVW ,UDT LQvDVLoQ back in 1990 and 1991. At the time, Sad­dam Hus­sein had in­vaded Kuwait and was at­tempt­ing to turn the coun­try into the 19th prov­ince of Iraq.

Wal­ter re­mem­bers Hus­sein grasp­ing quick con­trol of the coun­try.

“It was very easy for him to roll over a very small oil pro­duc­ing coun­try that didn’t have much of a mil­i­tary or much of a de­fense,” Wal­ter said.

Since Kuwait was al­ready de­feated, the rnited States went in to help de­fend Saudi Ara­bia from an in­va­sion by the Iraqi forces. Then in 1991, the rnited States LQvDdHd ,UDT LQ 2SHUDWLoQ DHVHUW Shield

“2Q SDSHU WKH FoQflLFW dLdQ’W last long,” Wal­ter said. “But, many peo­ple didn’t know the figKWLQg wDV HvHQ ovHU.”

A lot of other ef­forts needed to be com­pleted af­ter the de­claUDWLoQ WKDW WKH FoQflLFW wDV ovHU, Wal­ter added.

In­stead of dwelling on all the his­tory Wal­ter has wit­nessed, he jumped to dis­cus­sion on na­tion­al­ism and pa­tri­o­tism, abroad and here at home.

“Pa­tri­o­tism in Iraq and Afghanistan doesn’t ex­ist in the way that you and I think of it,” WDlWHU VDLd. EPSKDVLV LV SuW fiUVW on fam­ily, one’s clan, then tribe and then what coun­try they af­filLDWH WKHPVHlvHV wLWK, wKLFK LV why ef­forts to unite this part of a world into one gov­erned en­tity re­mains chal­leng­ing, he said. He dis­cussed fear. “We’ve all had scary mo­ments but at the time you just come back to the things you were trained in how to do,” Wal­ter said.

He said that many sol­diers, and this is ide­ally what the Army wants, re­vert back to their train­ing that has be­come in­nate.

“That’s when the fear sets in,” Wal­ter said, “when you come back and think about what just hap­pened.”

Wal­ter, a cap­tain in the r.S. Army who par­tic­i­pated in DesHUW SWoUP DQd 2SHUDWLoQ ,UDTL Free­dom, has served since 1989. Cur­rently, he’s sta­tioned at Fort Meade in Mary­land. He of­ten comes back to the Soud­er­ton, Sellersville and nu­ak­er­town area where he grew up to par­tic­i­pate in community events like 10K runs, VFW ri­val soft­ball games and just hang out with fam­ily and friends.

HH’V DQ oSHUDWLoQV oI­fiFHU FuUrently work­ing as part of the rnited States Army In­tel­li­gence and Se­cu­rity Com­mand, mon­i­tor­ing po­ten­tial threats to r.S. se­cu­rity at home and abroad.

Wal­ter prides him­self in be­ing an open book, within rea­son, of the past 20 years of Army ac­tion. He’s open to con­ver­sa­tions with lo­cals and re­ally any­one who is in­ter­ested. Wal­ter spoke at Le­nape Mid­dle School last year about his role in the Army.

To hear au­dio of Wal­ter and a Telford Navy vet­eran dis­cussing pa­tri­o­tism, na­tion­al­ism, fear and brav­ery, visit mont­gomerynews. com.

Soud­er­ton na­tive Steve Wal­ter and his pa­trol re­spond to an ap­par­ent as­sas­si­na­tion at­tempt against an Iraqi gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial when an in­sur­gent det­o­nated a car bomb in Bagh­dad April 18, 2007.

Sub­mit­ted pho­tos

Soud­er­ton na­tive Steve Wal­ter dur­ing a tour of duty in Iraq in Novem­ber 2006.

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