Veteran’s mission for more

Courtenay Reed at Workshop for Warriors

After graduating high school, Courtenay Reed took a few classes at a community college and worked at a print shop. But he wanted more.

So, in 1987, at age 19, he joined the Marine Corps, an experience that gave him purpose.

In boot camp, he trained to be a rifleman and to win battles through honor, courage and commitment. Afterward, he became a proficient Engineer Equipment Operator who could handle heavy-equipment, build airfields, clear landing zones and create fuel berms — skills he expected would pay off when he eventually left service.

Shortly after Saddam Hussein ordered the Iraqi military to invade neighboring Kuwait in Aug. 1990, Reed was deployed to the Persian Gulf where he served in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.

“I didn’t see close combat — not like they do today or in Vietnam,” says Reed.

Still, he says, the threat of incoming Iraqi Scud missiles and chemical agents were prevalent.

“Air raid sirens and patriot missiles being fired in close proximity to our camp to intercept the Scuds was a terrifying experience, but fear, was not an option.”

This story is published in full at the Ford Motor Company Fund’s Read it here