Ben Hartwick, 20
Photo: U.S. Air Force
Born and raised: In Jericho, Vermont, until he was 11, then his family moved to St. Augustine Beach, Florida
Graduate of: St. Augustine High School
Civil Engineering Troop, Airman 1st Class Hartwick works on
heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration. "But here we just
do air conditioning."
Why he joined the Air Force: "To get money for college so I wouldn't have
to put the burden on my parents."
Goals: "My goals are to get a Bachelor's degree before I get out of the Air
Force and to read the whole New Testament of the Bible while I'm on this
deployment. Also, to one day have a family and kids."
On his home: "I lived 30 seconds from the beach in Florida. I miss body boarding and
playing football on the beach."
Hey, how's it going? My name is Ben Hartwick. I'm an Airman 1st Class in the United States Air Force, currently stationed In the Middle East. I would love to tell you
where but it's classified so I can't. Sorry.
When I came here my assigned job was as an HVAC technician. We work
on all the air conditioning out here, but since the 20th of March, the day
the war started, I was tasked into a new job as a Security Forces troop.
I always used to say that their job was easy. But I soon found out that I
was wrong. I just got off working a 14-hour shift sitting in a bunker armed
with an M16 rifle, wearing night vision goggles, looking for terrorists or
any suspicious activity. I didn't see anything out of the ordinary last
night, thank God. But I'm glad to be out there, because we always have to
have a vigilant watch out for terrorists.
I've been out here since October 23, 2002. It's really not all that
bad. It's not like the United States, but you just have to make the best
of it. I signed the paper, and it's my duty to be here. While I'm out
here, I've made a lot of new friends, and I've gotten involved in honor guard and
the junior enlisted advisory council. That's a group that voices the
opinions and ideas of the junior enlisted corps to the leadership so they can better living conditions, and things like that.
In my spare time, I usually go to the gym, I'm involved in church
activities, and I study all the time for upgrade training in my career
I want to let everybody at home know that they shouldn't worry about
the war or anyone out here because we're all in God's hands, I always tell my
mom that (Don't worry about me Mom and Dad, I love you), and we have good
leadership. Basically, I think we have it all under control.
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