Voices of Oswego Veterans

It’s Not What You Think

David Drake

Photographer: Joseph Lanzi

Featuring: Jason Krause

Get to know the veterans around you, and draw your own conclusion on who they really are.

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About Jason Krause

Jason Krause was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1979. In 1983 his family moved to Cleveland, New York where Jason pursued his high school education. He later joined the Army in 2000 where he began his basic training in Benning, Florida. Jason was sent to Texas for his first deployment. Jason’s battalion was sent to Cuba six months after 9/11. Jason pursued his military career for four years while fighting in both Cuba and Iraq. Jason was later honorably discharged in 2004 from the Army. He’s now a student at the State University of New York at Oswego where he’s participating in the MBA public accounting program. In the next few years Jason hopes to earn his CPA license. Jason is now is a proud parent of four children and is living in Hastings, NY.

Transcript

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Jerimiah: Thank you for tuning into the Voices of Oswego Veterans podcast. I’m Jerimiah Butler

Karen: and I’m Karen Maldonado. Today’s episode is entitled “It’s Not What You Think”.

Jerimiah: In today’s episode, we’ll be discussing a story that highlights the key moments of military experiences before and after combat. Our guest today will be telling us about the experiences he has had throughout his military career.

Karen: Our guest today is Jason Krause. He was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1979. In 1983 his family moved to Cleveland, New York where Jason later pursued his high school education. He then joined the Army in 2000 and began his basic training in Fort Benning, Georgia. Jason was sent to Texas for his first duty station. Jason’s battalion was sent to Cuba six months after 9/11. Jason pursued his military career for four years while fighting in both Cuba and Iraq. Jason was later honorably discharged from the Army in 2004. He’s now a student at the State University of New York at Oswego where he’s participating in the MBA public accounting program. In the next few years Jason hopes to earn his CPA license. Jason is now a proud parent of four children and is living in Hasting, New York.

Jerimiah: Jason, we are so excited to sit down with you here today, we’re really excited to see where this interview takes us.

Jason: I’m glad to sit down with you both.

Karen: So, Jason tell us a little bit about yourself. What branch of military were you in?

Jason: I served in the Army. I served for four years. I’ve been out since 2004.

Karen: Where did you do your basic training?

Jason: I did my basic training in Fort Benning, Georgia.

Jerimiah: After your basic training, where did you go?

Jason: I was stationed in Fort Hood, Texas. And that’s where I was when September 11th happened. After 9/11, we got deployed to Cuba and Iraq.

Karen: Where were you in Cuba?

Jason: We were actually in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. That’s where they hold the prisoners of war from the war on terror.

Jerimiah: What was it like in Guantanamo Bay?

Jason: The weather was great! I mean it was nice and sunny. Nice Caribbean weather, there was a lot of security duty essentially guard towers, watching over prisoners and kind of doing some patrol by the ocean to make sure there’s nothing fishy going on. Making sure no one is trying to escape.

Jerimiah: How much time did you have between your deployment in Cuba and your deployment in Iraq?

Jason: I think the total time was four months. We actually got pulled out of Cuba early because we were going to sent to Iraq so we had to come back to Fort Hood, Texas and prepare for deployment. We were actually ready for deployment by the end of January, 2003. And we were just waiting around until it was time to deploy for a couple of months until we actually deployed to Iraq.

Karen: How was it there in Iraq?

Jason: Iraq was, it’s a different experience. It was very hot. We got there in April 2003. Well I was there until December 2003. My unit was there until April. I actually got out early. It was time for me to get out prior to them coming back.

Jerimiah: Was it hotter than Guantanamo Bay?

Jason: Yes, I think the hottest day we got, was around 140 degrees.

Jerimiah: Oh boy, it’s a dry heat, right?

Jason: It is a dry but like, somebody had a meat thermometer and I was in a Bradley fighting vehicle so we put the meat thermometer in the turret and it was in the upper 210 to 220 degrees inside of there.

Karen: How long were you there in Iraq?

Jason: I was there for nine months.

Jerimiah: And after those nine months do you remember the time when you came back to the United States?

Jason: I flew back in December 2003 back to Fort Hood.

Karen: How has the military affected your day to day life?

Jason: The military has given me a lot of structure. There was a lot of structure in my life, and my kids can attest to that. As they all have specific bedtimes and what not. But I think the most telling thing in life is that specially serving in Iraq is the lack of normalcy, I could explain it to you.

Jason: In your normal day to day life you have a pattern. Everyone has a pattern that they follow. They get up, go eat, go places, they do things, they come home, they go to bed. You have a pattern. Well while serving in Iraq you have to get that pattern disturbed because you know you’re getting to do your patrols, you’re doing what you’re supposed to do and every now and again, there’s gunshots you know, coming your way so you have to react to that. And I think that kind of carried over for me as it has probably for a lot of people. So now I don’t have the same sense of normalcy in my day to day life.

Jason: A good example of that is when I go to the movie theater. I’ll specifically sit in the back row of the movie theater because I don’t trust anyone in the theater. And I’ll watch. I’ll be one of the first ones in there. If not the first one in there, and then I’ll watch everyone. I watch where they sit, I watch what they do when they sit, and then I watch what they carry in with them, if they get up and leave, if they left something behind.

Jason: Recently I went to a movie with my wife. It was the Jason Bourne movie. There was probably about ten people in the theater. So I saw a guy come in. He had a bag with him. He sat down, left the bag there, got up and walk out, so then I was like, “Okay, is he coming back?” And I waited, and I waited. It was about five to ten minutes until he did come back in, but to me he was acting fishy so we left the movie, like 20 minutes. We didn’t even watch the movie.

Jerimiah: So that kind of highlights some of the things, protocols that you had to do back in Iraq. Because sometimes people carry something in and it’s expected to be a bomb, or an IED.

Jason: Yeah, some sort of incendiary device.

Jerimiah: Are there any other issues that you’ve had adjusting back to life in United States? Besides going to the movie theater and just being that structured person? Being that structured person is very good. That’s one of our great organizational skills that they have is, being structured. But is there anything else you struggled getting back into, family life maybe?

Jason: It took me a while, getting back into relationships.

Jerimiah: Absolutely.

Jason: But once I got into my next relationship my current wife is great. So we have been together for 12 years and married for 9 of those.

Jerimiah: That’s phenomenal!

Jason: I think that veterans aren’t as scary as people think we are. You know, we’re not all mean. Some of us may have stern looks on our face or whatnot but we are easily approachable. We love to have conversations and most of us aren’t afraid to talk about what’s happened or you know even simple questions that people have. So, don’t be afraid to approach a veterans and engage them in a conversation. Don’t be scared of us, we are not, we’re not crazy people that can be portrayed in the movies.

Jerimiah: I agree the media now a days has put this incorrect image on veterans, and I feel that veterans sometimes suffer from that, and I unfortunately suffered from that image, you know. Now that I sit down with you my eyes are just opened to what a true veteran is.

Jerimiah: Unfortunately, that’s all the time we have, Karen and I would like to thank you for your time, we are looking forward to correcting the false perspective that some people have on veterans.

Jason: Thank you.