August 2023

William Skowronek

I would like to express my gratitude towards William Skowronek for sharing his story.

William Skowronek enlisted into the Army on July 15th, 2015, at 24 years old.

He served on a 9 month combat deployment in Djibouti, Africa and was also deployed in Kuwait.

Read the rest of his story below:

Your dedication and service towards this country is truly inspiring, and I am so grateful I was able to listen to your story. I hope your story helps readers gain perspective and knowledge.

Thank you, Maria

Why did you enlist into the Army?

"I’ll never forget it. I always wanted to join the military but never truly acted upon it. Until July of 2015 when I just got fed up working construction & dealing with a Boss who kept giving me the run around on a big raise I was expecting. So I straight up quit one day with no back up plan except the fact that I knew I was unhappy and I’d figure it out like I always do. Next day, I joined the Army National Guard Infantry. I had done my research and National Guard in general offered the best benefits by far. I don’t come from much so free college anywhere in the state seemed like a no brainer for me. Not to mention I always felt serving our country was the most honorable thing you could do so I wanted to be able to contribute to the cause I respected so much."

What are some of the things you remember about adapting to military life?

"Get comfortable being uncomfortable" and "hurry up and wait" is the best way I can answer this one.

Thank you for reading my story.

Can you describe a funny moment from your deployment?

"I’d say one of the funniest moments on deployment was when my squad & I were patrolling outside the wire and a pack of camels straight up followed us on patrol for miles and got freakishly close to one of my buddies who was clearly mortified. So we couldn’t but bust his balls all the time because he couldn’t keep his cool around them and they took a liking to him for some reason."

"Take a step back and appreciate the life you live & chase everything that makes your soul happy."

What was Basic Training like?

"Basic Training was at Fort Benning, Georgia. It’s where all Infantry goes for basic training in the Army. No one in my family or anyone really close to me ever served so I watched an obnoxious amount of youtube videos at the time to help give myself somewhat of an insight of what exactly I was getting myself into.

I remember after the first day I was already thinking what did I get myself into. Everyone handles the stress, lack of sleep & fatigue differently as for me I just felt like well I’m stuck here now for the next 3 and a half months so I might as well give it my all and give myself some goals to achieve.

What is something you remember most from Basic Training?

"I’d say my best memory from basic was not only “embracing the suck” with the friends I had made and many I still talk to this day. But it was receiving an award for being a “PT Stud”. Although the Captain said I was a “waste of a soldier” because he offered me an 18 x ray contract which was an Army Ranger contract. This meant I was basically going full time, being sent straight to Airborne school then straight to Ranger school. It was essentially one of the main ways to get into Special Forces. I remember feeling extremely accomplished and honored but I was quick to decline that generous offer. I wanted to still have a life and I always had big goals and dreams. The military was always going to be a stepping stone in my life I knew there was many more chapters of me to be read."

What are some fun things you and your friends did while you were deployed?

"I was a big gym freak in the military especially when I was on deployment. So boxing and lifting was about as fun as it got for me besides cracking jokes all day to entertain ourselves and feel sane."

What is something you wish civilians understood about military service?

"I’d say the biggest thing I wish civilians would understand about the military is that until you’ve served you really have no place to talk down upon it. Most people in this world are so stuck in their little bubble they’ve never seen what life is really like around the world."

How do you think your time in the military affected you?

"My time in the military affected me in many ways as I’m sure it does for anyone that serves. It's given me this sense of confidence I know I never had prior. I’ve always felt like there isn’t anything I cant conquer now after what I had endured. But the biggest way the military has affected me is simply being grateful for the life I live."

William Skowronek

Enlisted into the Army National Guard Infantry on July 15, 2015 ~ Served in Djibouti, Africa, and Kuwait

8/28/20234 min read