United States Army Veteran LaTreece Robinson (Nelson)
A Q&A with United States Army Veteran LaTreece Robinson (Nelson). LaTreece was nominated by the Flossmoor Community Relations Commission for our Black History Month feature.
Military Branch: United States Army
Units Served: 3
Role in the Unit: Human Resource SGT
Years of Military Service: 6
Highest Military Ranking: Specialist
Overseas Service: Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan 2011
What motivated you to join the military? I joined the military to be a part of something bigger than myself and to be of service to others. I wanted to join straight out of high school but my parents did not want me to join. Well my desire held off for a while and at age 27 I raised my right hand to start my service.
What is an achievement that you are most proud of in your military service? My deployment serving under the Joint Task Force Command was an achievement that was an honor for myself.
Which medals and/or citations are you most honored to have received? Afghanistan Campaign medal with 2 campaign stars. Joint Service Commendation medal. Army Achievement medal. Army Reserve Component Achievement medal. National Defense Service medal. Global War on Terrorism Service medal. Army Service Ribbon. Overseas Service Ribbon. Armed Forces Reserve medal with M Device. NATO medal
How did you stay connected to home and to loved ones while deployed? I did video calls every Saturday morning (Chicago time but my night time) to my daughters that were 1 year old and 6 years old. Emails, phone calls and care packages were my other connections to home.
Who is someone you looked up to or someone who meant a lot to you while serving in the military? SSG Amanda Lempera (Koch now) was an essential part of the start of my military training. She took me right under her wing when I joined the military police company. Teaching me all that I need to know for the HR position and giving me tons of insight on what to expect in basic training. SSG LaDonald Scott was a great mentor with years of service experience in supply and logistics and was willing to teach all that I wanted to learn, despite being HR
How did/does your military experience impact your life today? My service injuries are a constant reminder of my military training and experience yet they do not diminish the knowledge, experiences and people I encountered along my journey. I do not regret my years of service at all.
What was it like on your last day of service? My last day was a day of joy and sadness. Although my military time was short and quick, I was given the opportunity to serve as a Reservist in Arlington Heights IL within a Military Police company. I deployed to Afghanistan under a Joint Task Force service command. Finally, I finished on Active Duty at Fort Devens, MA. I did not want to be medically retired but my injuries were not conducive to the military training and lifestyle.
After returning to civilian life, how were you initially received by veterans/family/community? It was an adjustment returning home but I was received with love, appreciation and kindness.
Following your service, did you pursue secondary education or enter the workforce? After retirement I continued on with the government working at Social Security Administration for 4yrs then stopped in 2018 for medical reasons. Now I am the Security Monitor at the Flossmoor Library watching the students after school.
Did you, and how do you, stay in touch with people you served with? Texts and phone calls keep me in contact with my military family. No matter how long it’s been we’re still family by this common bond.
What would you like people to know about your military experience? It was life changing and experiences beyond anything that I could have ever received in the civilian workforce.
What questions do you wish people would ask you? Why did I join and did I enjoy my experiences.