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Marion resident looks back at 24-year military career

Army Veteran Greg Strong joined the military when he was 21 years old and never looked back. 

Strong said he enlisted because of it being a family tradition to join at 18 but his parents wanted him to wait a few years after high school. 

He had many jobs such as infantry, administration and transportation but Strong jokes that all roads led him back to infantry in the end. 

After spending a decade in the Army, Strong decided to make a career of it. 

"The first ten years, after it passed so fast, I thought the next ten years should be a piece of cake too," Strong explains. 

The Marion resident served several overseas tours including Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan and Iraq, he was part of a counter-narcotics team that mainly dealt with Poppy flowers. 

Strong is featured in two books touching on those experiences called ‘The Afghanistan Poppy Eradication Campaign’ and ‘Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan’. 

He says that going overseas made him feel fortunate to be an American.

"Intermingling with the locals was really something," Strong recalls. "Yo go to a third world country, you start realizing how much we have over here and how little they have over there."

However, the most rewarding aspect of his military careers is being able to say he’s a retired Sergeant First Class with the United States Army.

Strong’s now a members of Marion VFW and works at the Marion VA. 

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