Name: John M. Knabenshue II
Age: 40 years old
Wife/Children: Wife of 10 years [Becki] and 3 daughters [Kayla, Reagan, & Madison]
Hobbies: Hunting, Fishing, camping, and wine making
Title: Major in the U.S. Army, Engineer Officer
Years in the Military: 21 years of military service
What qualities of your mother/father influenced you the most? There love and support, they are always there no matter what the circumstances, their hard work and dedication to family.
What are you most grateful for in life? A great family with an understanding and loving wife, as well as, three beautiful and healthy daughters.
What is the best piece of advice you ever got? “Never procrastinate because you never know what tomorrow will bring”.
Have you been deployed overseas? If yes how many times and where? I have done two tours in Iraq (2003-2004)(2007-2008).
What is the most difficult part of being in the military? The hardest part for me being in the military is being away from my family. You really do not know how much you appreciate them until you are away from them for a long period of time.
What do you think has kept you motivated? In the beginning, a sense of personal pride with a never quit attitude, but as I have gotten older, my wife and kids are my motivation.
What is the most unique or strangest incident you’ve encountered being in the military? The most unique was during my last deployment as I worked with a Sunni Sheikh who was the Directorate General for the North Oil Company in Kirkuk, Iraq. I worked with him every day dealing with pipeline security issues between Kirkuk, Iraq and Bayji, Iraq as insurgents would create problems by blowing the oil pipelines.
What types of obstacles do you see increasing the most about being in the service? The biggest obstacle for the military at this time is the budget cuts which lead to troop strength/equipment reductions while fighting the war on terrorism.
What is the biggest risk you see facing new recruits/young adults today? Many take things for granted. Always work to be the best at everything that you do. Don’t expect or demand it to be handed to you. Respect is given when earned.
What advice would you give our readers? Less than 1% of the U.S. population is made up of members of the military. They are the ones that allow you to enjoy your way of life. Don’t take them for granted!