Frank Carrasco is a young charismatic 27 year old, most likely the youngest who attended this past Veteran’s Day, who dedicated 2 years of his life to the Air Force.
“I’m from Indiana and now live in Cicero. I was in the air force for 2 years and got an honorable discharge. This is actually my first time coming back since 2014,” said Carrasco.
Being able to join the military had been on Carrasco’s mind for most of his high school career, but of course deciding to join is a much bigger decision.
“I didn’t have any military backing in my family but in high school you see a lot of recruiters and I was always interested in the military. I was in boy scouts as a kid and always wanted to be in the air force, but the only problem was I really wasn’t ready to commit to anything. Especially like a 4 to 6 year commitment so I went to school for a few years after high school to see what I wanted out of life. Plus, when I joined the military, I benefited from the credits I got in college. I enlisted when I was 21,” said Carrasco.
Once he got shipped out, Carrasco found out being in the Air Force was something he really enjoyed and wanted to spend more of his life doing, however, budget cuts kept him from making his dream come true.
“I left in June of 2012 and did about a year of active duty after basic training. Then I did a bit of time in inactive duty. I wanted to make a career out of the military but I kind of got cut short because of the budget cuts during this time,” said Carrasco.
Even coming back after serving his time posed a challenge to Carrasco as he tried to get back into “regular life”.
“After my service I decided to go back to school and try to be a civilian again I guess. It was kind of unusual for me at the time,” said Carrasco.
Carrasco got to travel a bit during his service in the Air Force too which created fond memories of the towns who bases he used to serve in.
“I spent most of my time at the air force base in Mississippi. We used to call it the “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” because it was like a town that used to be a huge place like in Jersey Shore, but when Katrina hit it pretty much flattened out everything and no one wanted to rebuild,” said Carrasco.
Although Carrasco is not in the military anymore he still helps out in anyway he can such as helping out at the VA and raising money for the Wounded Warriors. He also still keeps in contact with the friends he made in the Air Force no matter where they may be now.
“Overall, I met some really good friends during my time which I still keep in touch with today. Sometimes I find out they are all in cool distant places such as Thailand and one is actually deploying right now, which, I hope they all get back safe,” Carrasco.