Rock Port Soldier Rubbing Elbows with World's Elite

Published 10/03 2012 09:27PM

Updated 10/03 2012 09:34PM

(LEAVENWORTH, Kan.) Every year, the halls at Ft. Leavenworth's Command and General Staff College fill with the best soldier from around the world.

Just going to college in the school can be an experience.

"Many of our international students who are my classmates will go on to be the leaders of their country in the military or their national leaders because they select their best and their brightest and send them here," said Maj. Shawn Herron, a Rock Port, MO native enlisted in the Army Reserve.

But for Herron, he almost chose a different path away from rubbing shoulders with some of the best.

"I was ready to run off to school and I was going to be a doctor and be a pre-med," said Herron. "And it was an eye-opener for how hard it was and the level of work that went into that."

Seventeen years later, Maj. Herron is getting a taste of international relations.

It is a valuable experience which stems from aiding Iraqi security forces in his deployment in 2008.

"This was the real-life situation," said Herron. "They live this everyday. The security and threats that we dealt with were just part of their daily lives. So understanding their perspective and working with them and seeing their dedication and capability was very interesting and rewarding experience."

It may seem like a big world out there for the small town soldier, but nothing beats the sense of community he experienced back home and in the military.

"When you're part of something like that, there's a sense where you need to contribute and be responsible for everything that goes on there," said Herron. "As an all volunteer force, somebody has got to serve. So it was really a sense of responsibility."

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