When coverage of 9/11 started to hit televisions across the country, people stopped what they were doing and stared blankly at their television screens wondering what was happening. The event caused a huge wave of mixed emotions for many people, but for a few, the horrific event motivated them to enlist in the military.
“Seeing the things that happened that day made me want to go and make a difference and serve my country,” said Thomas Milhaupt, a student earning his information technology degree.
Milhaupt was one of the few brave men and women who enlisted themselves to serve our country because of the events that occurred on 9/11.
“I felt that I needed to help defend my country so something like this doesn’t happen again,” Milhaupt said.
Newly enlisted, Milhaupt was sent on his first deployment to Iraq where he was stationed for the next 16 months. His job overseas was as a signal support systems specialist, which meant Milhaupt worked on radios, set up information technology networks, troubleshot connection issues, and many other IT-related tasks.
Milhaupt continued his work as a signal support systems specialist during his second tour, which placed him in a prison in Baghdad for 12 months, and later during another 12 month state-side tour in Ft. McCoy, Wisconsin.
“I loved every second of my job,” Milhaupt said, which led him to enroll in the Information Technology Program at Minnesota School of Business- Elk River.
Milhaupt says his military job wasn’t the only influence in his decision to pursue IT though.
“My dad loves to work on TV’s, computers, jukeboxes and radios,” said Milhaupt, “so when I was younger, I would sit down in his shop and watch him fix things, which got me interested in electronics.”
Now three quarters into his information technology degree, Milhaupt says his transition from the military to school “was a smooth transition that has been one of the best decisions in my life.”