Hometown Heroes: Honoring Clark and Champaign County veterans

Name: Annette Farr

Hometown: New Carlisle

Current Residence: New Carlisle

Career after the military: After my time in the Marine Corps, I rode/exercised racehorses at racetracks throughout the U.S. After the National Guard, I was medically retired.

Hobbies: I enjoy gardening, DIY projects, my horses, the local philharmonic orchestra, and currently have a laundry room full of cochin chicks to raise and make my little mini-farm complete.

Branch of Service: Marine Corps and Arizona Army National Guard

Dates of Service: I served in the Marine Corps from 1984 to 1991, and in the National Guard from 2005 to 2011

How long did you serve: 13 years

Deployments/Bases: I began my life as a Marine at Parris Island, South Carolina. I then went to Camp Johnson, North Carolina for training as a wheeled vehicle mechanic before being assigned the 2nd Marine Division right next door at Camp Lejeune. From there I went to 9th Motors at Camp Foster in Okinawa and was honorably discharged at Camp Pendleton, California.

I came back to Ohio and spent two years as a full time active reservist with the Inspector-Instructor Staff for the MP unit in Dayton. In 2005, being unable to make the age cutoff to rejoin the Marines, I entered service in the Arizona National Guard and was deployed to Iraq in 2006 with the 259th Security Force and was stationed at LSA Annaconda, Balad AFB.

What did you do in the service: I was trained as a mechanic but, as anyone who has served knows, the military will assign you where they need you regardless of your occupational specialty. In Iraq, I spent part of my time turning a wrench and the rest of it providing security for convoys delivering supplies to various bases throughout Iraq.

Did you join the military or were you drafted: I volunteered for service.

What did you learn from serving in the military: Success at accomplishing goals is mostly a matter of not allowing failure to be an option. I did so many things I never thought I could because my drill instructors wouldn’t allow me to quit.

What’s a memorable moment from your service: On one of our convoy security missions my vehicle was hit by an IED and I sustained a relatively minor shrapnel wound. During the Med-Evac process, I was being taken off of the chopper and my stretcher was being lifted into place inside the bus that would take me to the combat support hospital. At that moment I thought, “Wow! This is exactly like those episodes of M.A.S.H. I used to watch as a kid.”

What would you like readers to know about your military experience: I don’t see myself as a hero. I was just escorting a supply convoy to another base and my vehicle got hit by an IED. It was more of a, Whoops! I hate it when that happens moment, than some sort of heroic action. Still I appreciated every care package, card, or letter I received. Sometimes I was too busy or too exhausted to reply or send a thank-you while I was out on mission, but they meant a lot to me none-the-less. I don’t always know what to say when someone thanks me for my service either. I was just doing my job but it is nice to be appreciated so thank you.

Hometown Heroes is a weekly feature profiling Clark and Champaign County veterans compiled with the assistance of local Vietnam veteran Randy Ark. To nominate a veteran, e-mail samantha.sommer@coxinc.com or randyark48@gmail.com or call 937-328-0363. Any veteran of any military branch, years of service and age is eligible to be profiled.

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