BYRON CENTER, Mich. –
"It's given me so many opportunities. … It provided for my family and taught me lots of life lessons on how to accomplish things and work hard to get what you want," said Lt. Col. Jeremi Ruby after asking him how the Army positively affected his life. Joining the Army has presented many opportunities for Ruby. The military, of course, came with challenges, but ultimately teaches a lot of essential life lessons.
Ruby, in the 766th Transportation Battalion located in South Bend, Indiana, joined the military in 1995, straight out of high school. He knew that this is what he wanted to do, whether that be picking up new skills and a career or staying in until retirement, he didn't know.
Lt. Col. Ruby took the time to talk to me about Veterans Day and his experiences in the Army. "Well, if you're in the army for as long as I have been or even less, I mean, you will spend some time away from family and friends," said Ruby, who has 27 years of service.
Ruby remarks, "You will miss birthdays, holidays, and big events, and you'll have to sacrifice."
When prompted about a critical skill learned from the army, Ruby responded, "How to get things done. I was taught at a young age about how to get the things that you want or the things that you need to complete the mission and how to not accept defeat easily." Ruby continued. "I don't like to see people suffer because of other people's poor leadership," said Ruby. The Army has allowed him to try and make a difference and set a better standard.
"I was too impatient to become a first sergeant, so I decided to go back to college full-time as a new father of two kids under the age of three," said Ruby. "It was probably the best decision I have ever made."
While Ruby was getting his bachelor's degree, he had two children, both under the age of three. Ruby was trying to juggle the Army, life, and school. Soon after, going to Officer Candidate School (OCS). He left his family for a year to go on deployment to Kuwait.
When inquired about the reason Ruby decided to become an officer, Ruby replied, "If you want to do something about it, then make some rank and do something about it."
Ruby has been accepted into U.S. Army War College and will continue to try and balance the military, work, and now school again in his life. He continues to take the opportunities given to him and try to improve Soldiers' experiences in the Army.