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News: America’s Military: Sgt. Damien J. Broadnax


America’s Military: Sgt. Damien J. Broadnax




T. Anthony Bell, Traveller Staff Writer


The America's Military section of the Traveller spotlights Soldiers from around the Fort Lee community.


​FORT LEE, Va. (Sept. 14, 2017) -- Name: Sgt. Damien J. Broadnax

Unit: Medical Department Activity
MOS: 68G – patient administration specialist
Age: 23
Time in service: three years
Marital status: single
Hometown: Reidsville, N.C.
Place of duty: Kenner Army Health Center, Patient Administration Division
Additional duties: president, Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program
Pastimes: “I play basketball. I’ve been a player for the post basketball team the past three years.”
Describe yourself: “I’m self-driven and confident to an extent. I never present myself as someone who is more than I really am.”
Worst fear: “Death.”
Dream car: “A Ferrari.”
One place you would take a vacation: “Aruba – it’s exotic, I’ve never been out of the country, and I heard it’s not expensive. I would have a great time.”
Three things you would take to a deserted island: “A lighter, a radio and a canteen of water.”
One person you most admire: “That would have to be my mom. I grew up in a single-parent home with my mom and brother. Having seen my mother go through trials and tribulations – moving from house to house, not having food to eat at night and not having hot water at times – and still make it out to where she is today with two successful kids is amazing.”
The historical figure or celebrity you would like to meet: “I would like to meet (NFL football player) Tom Brady. He was – despite being on a pedestal now – like the last pick in the NFL draft. Everybody was like, ‘He’s too slow’ or ‘He’s this or that.’ Everybody doubted him, but what he did was make them into believers. He showed them you don’t have to be fast, and now he is one of the most elite quarterbacks who has ever lived.”
Your ideal life: “The life I would want to live, ultimately, if I was retired, is one in which I could give back. That’s why I like the BOSS program. I love giving my time to helping people and making an impact any way I can. Every time you give a blessing you receive one in return.”
Talk about your upbringing: “I grew up in Reidsville. It wasn’t the ghetto, but it is kind of ‘hoodish’ (slang for an area lacking opportunities). People are always getting into trouble and drugs are a big problem down there. I played sports, and that carried me. I got into college and played college basketball. I cannot lie, though, my childhood was a struggle.”
A life-changing event: “When my stepfather passed away almost a year and a half ago. I was a specialist (in rank) at the time, and he was always on me about doing the right thing and driving me on. He passed away two months before I got promoted. He was my father figure for about 12 years. Losing someone that close really hit me hard. It was the only time I ever cried in my life, other than getting a whipping. He was that inspirational to me when I was growing up.”
Where did you go to college: “First I went to Rockingham Community College and transferred over to the University of North Carolina at Pembroke before joining the Army. I had a full academic scholarship to Pembroke.”
What did you know about the military before joining: “I had four years of Marine Corps ROTC in high school. I knew the structure, and I knew what it took. I had a friend who joined, and he came home talking about basic training, how fun it was and how it always had money in his pocket. I also saw the difference because it changed him. I was in school and had a 3.7 GPA, so it wasn’t like I was struggling, but I was interested. I went to the recruiting station the next day and enlisted. I was 19 when I joined.”
Why anyone would abandon a full scholarship for the military: “People ask me that all the time. I tell them about my friend. The rest, I think, was God. I really do. I just feel like the military is made for me. The day since I signed on the dotted line, everything has gone my way. I’ve had roadblocks, but it’s always something that gets me over the hump. I have a family here, and I look at the Army as a family. I always have money in my pocket, I never have to worry about anything, and I don’t have to pay for school. My family will be taken care of once I get married. I think God made this choice for me, and I just ran with it. This is a career for me.”
Why you chose your MOS: “When people join the military, they’re thinking is short-term. They’re like, ‘Oh, my God, I’m going to be an MP,’ a medic, or whatever. They don’t think their lives out. I’m a 68G. The training is only eight weeks long. Medics go to school for almost six months. I get called a ‘paper pusher,’ but I’m looking at the big picture. My job encompasses billing, coding, medical records, medical boards, health privacy issues – all of which I could choose as career options when I decide to get out of the military.”
One thing you love about your place of duty: “It’s got to be the ladies (with whom he works). They’re amazing. I look at them like they’re my aunts, grandmas and mamas. They all take care of me.”
The toughest part of your job: “The worst thing about my job is the equipment being down. I don’t have any complaints.”
What you admire in other Soldiers: “Self-motivation, determination and those who are happy and smiling. I love a Soldier who comes at me lit up from the beginning, who wants to be here.”
Attributes you don’t like seeing in leaders: “Those who are selfish, uncaring and more concerned with their own careers. Better put, NCOs without a backbone. That irks me to the fullest.”
Best thing about the Army: “You have a guaranteed paycheck, roof over your head, food in your mouth and clothes on your back.”
Worst thing about the Army: “Too many regulations – a lot of stuff that doesn’t have anything to do with ‘shooting, moving and communicating.’”
Future plans: “I’ve been wrestling with whether I want to go officer or enlisted. If I stay enlisted, my main goal is to become Sergeant Major of the Army. A lot of people say that’s everybody’s goal, but I’m one of those who wants to prove to you I can do it. I’m a driven and highly-motivated individual who believes he can make it happen. My personal goals are to start a family, get married, have two boys and raise them with things I was not able to have." 


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Created at 9/14/2017 8:01 AM by Wade, Tereasa I CIV USARMY MEDCOM KAHC (US)
Last modified at 9/14/2017 8:10 AM by Wade, Tereasa I CIV USARMY MEDCOM KAHC (US)