1stLT Aidan Dietz, USA

1st LT Aidan Dietz, USA

     Today, Veterans Day, is a time to pay tribute to all American veterans, both living and dead, who sacrificed and contributed to protect our freedom. In 2016, there were around 20.4 million U.S. veterans according to data from the Department of Veterans Affairs, representing about 10% of the total U.S. adult population. Gulf War-era veterans now account for the largest share, surpassing Vietnam-era veterans in 2016. Currently, nine-in-ten veterans (91%) are men while 9% are women.

     Enter 1st LT. Aidan Dietz, a Gulf-war era veteran; a San Marcos High School and University of Texas, Austin graduate in 2014 with a BA in government. Commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant, Infantry, from the UT ROTC, Aidan returned from overseas in August 2018 from a year’s deployment in Operation Enduring Freedom-Horn of Africa with primary duty in Djibouti and Somalia.     

     His words: “As I reflect on my recent deployment as a platoon leader in an Infantry company as part of Operation Enduring Freedom-Horn of Africa, I think about our experiences as soldiers. As for me, I left my beautiful wife, Desirae, after only being married a few months. Many of my soldiers had to do the same. They missed their children being born, family members passing away, birthdays, holidays, and very special occasions. As I think back on missions we had --- whether it was working to help and aid refugees or training soldiers of other different religions and cultures than our own --- one scripture always
resonates with me: Proverbs 27:17 ‘As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another’. This scripture brings it all full circle. In my relationship with my wife, as we grew stronger in our faith and relationship, it was her strength and ability to cope with our situation that helped me to stay positive and motivated to do the best I could. The same with the soldiers I worked with who volunteered to leave home and all its comforts; to cross all barriers of religion, ethnicity, language, culture; and to connect with
different soldiers from different backgrounds. As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

     1st Lieutenant Dietz is presently assigned to a National Guard Unit in Brownsville, Texas -- Company A, 3rd Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division (iconic World War II Texas division). As a youth, he was awarded the Eagle Scout designation from Boy Scouts of America Troop 112, San Marcos. As a soldier, he has earned the Expert Infantryman’s Badge (EIB), Parachutist Badge, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal with 1 oak leaf cluster, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terror Expeditionary medal, National Defense Service medal, Army Service ribbon, Armed Forces
Reserve Medal with “M” and the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal.

     Service to the nation is a high calling! Today we honor our veterans, but we worship the Lord.

Jim Lanning -- San Marcos Record, November 11, 2018