Master Sgt. Jose Diaz grills burgers during the Fourth of July party at the Kabul, Afghanistan, airport July 4.

U.S. Army photo

Master Sgt. Jose L. Diaz, 39, joined the military Sept. 13, 1994. He is currently deployed to Afghanistan as a telecommunications operations chief with III Corps.

Favorite thing about the military:

“You get to see things that no ordinary person can.”

Things the Army taught you:

“I have learned to bloom where you are planted. It does not really matter where you find yourself. All you must do is make the very best of where you are. Do not ever expect things to be perfect, but work toward perfection and Be All That You Can Be!”

What inspired you to be a soldier?

“My father and my grandfather. (Both were soldiers and retired).”

Deployments: Three times, January 2004 to January 2005 to Iraq, October 2006 to January 2008 to Afghanistan and this current deployment to Afghanistan.

What has this deployment been like?

“All deployments are different. All deployments have different challenges; from not having armored vehicles ... missing equipment to perform your job, no shade in 100-plus temperatures, no air conditioning, no facilities, no place to purchase basic items. The list can go on. This deployment has been mentally challenging.”

What do you enjoy most about your deployment and the mission you’re supporting?

“I enjoy the fact that I have gotten a chance to work alongside several services from different countries. I believe the mission is for a good cause. I have witnessed the Afghan National Army Signal Corps train on signal equipment and I have also witnessed them defend their country and take the fight to the terrorists. It is a good feeling to know that we are part of something greater than ourselves.”

What do you miss most about Fort Hood and your family?

“I miss my family the most. I miss being able to hold my daughter, Aaliah, 2, and walk with her and hold her little hand. I miss being able to watch WWE with my son, Alexander, 9. I miss being able to spend time with my wife; going to the movies, restaurants and shopping. Last but not least, I miss driving my car. Even if it is just to be stuck in Fort Hood traffic.”

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