Army veteran Calvin Harris, a Hometown Hero - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Army veteran Calvin Harris, a Hometown Hero

Calvin Harris Calvin Harris

Right out of high school, 18-year-old Calvin Harris was looking for an adventure and the United States Army was where he found it.

"We had to jump into the ocean and swim back to shore. I never was a good swimmer and at that time I could see life and death right there," said Harris.

Harris enlisted in 1985 and although he was never deployed, he says he played a very important role in Desert Storm.

He was a truck driver for "Hell on Wheels," the 2nd Armored Division of the U.S. Army.

"Our task was to haul the guys that were going overseas to Iraq, all the duffle bags, the equipment, load the planes," he said.

Harris said he worked constantly, all hours the day to assure the deployed soldiers and their equipment left on time.  He was supposed to get out in 1990 but his time was extended an additional six months to help with transportation.

He says even now, as a truck driver, he still uses the things he learned in the Army on a daily basis.  

"You learn how to deal with a stressful environment and a casual environment. It helped. It played a big role as far as what I'm doing," Harris said

Although his time in the military was short, his wife Christina says it was stressful.

"When he went active was when we had our first son," she said.

They say their son Ray was born with three holes in his heart and needed heart surgery right away.  Just 11 months later, they said their second son was born.

"It is hard. There's nothing easy about being a spouse of a serviceman," Christina said.

While Christina was in Lubbock with their two boys, Harris was thousands of miles away in Panama, Germany and Belgium. 

"About a month ago I started reading back on the letters we used to write and I started crying because I realized how far apart we were from each other," she said.

They have now been married for 26 years and Harris says if he could, he would do it all over again.

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