My name is Justin. I lived in North Florida until I graduated High School when I decided for some reason to join the Army. Looking back I still can't seem to find the exact reason that I decided to enlist. I would think that it was something along the lines of the excitement of the whole idea. Excitement is something that I have experienced that I can assure you. I have been stationed in Europe (Germany) where I traveled extensively and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003-2004 (15 months), when I returned from that deployment I was stationed in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. If you ever have the option to drive through Oklahoma....drive around...you didn't miss much I can assure you. While stationed there I deployed to Iraq again in 2005-2006 (12 months) and to Djibouti, Africa (15 months). After that trip I moved to Joint Base Lewis Mccord, Washington. I deployed to Kuwait from there to Jordan (8 months). I am currently stationed at Shaw AFB in Sumter SC, where I have just deployed to Al Udeid, Qatar for the next 6 months or so. As you can see, I have been deployed almost as much as I have been home over the last ten years.
So, I'm from Florida and am a Southern California Fan. (sounds of bandwagon approaching fell the stage) Well here's the story for that.
I grew up a Florida Gators fan and somewhere in High school lost awareness with the team, in my recollection it was somewhere around the time that Coach Spurrier went to the NFL and I joined the Army. Now if you can imagine it's pretty easy to lose touch with your team when the games come on at 2am or you're on a patrol in Baghdad for instance. After I returned from my first deployment Football was the last thing on my mind. Needless to say I had changed a bit. Totally in the way that should be anticipated after such traumatic evens, but yet wholly unexpected from those around us. No one had been in an all out war in our generation and many didn't know what to feel about it when we returned. I soon moved to Ft. Sill where I met my best friend to this day. He as one could conceive was and still is a huge USC fan. This is where the transformation from a SEC fan to an adult began. We have been to several games together. I'm not always around to be able to watch my beloved Trojans but I make it to a game as much as I can. We have been to the Nebraska game in Lincoln, the ND game in LA, the Washington game last year in Seattle, and finally I flew to LA to see Coach O's first game as our (hopefully) new head Coach against Arizona a couple weeks before I deployed this year. I follow the Trojans through thick (Uncle Pete) and thin (Coach Kiffin) everywhere from recruiting, sanctions, wins and losses, from the human aspect of the coaches and players and their stories, from all over the world. I listen to every Pod Cast I can find (USCfootball.com has a great one between 1-3 times a week) and devour all the news I can read. I am a Seattle Seahawks fan (give you one guess why...and it's not just because the Jags are Terrible). Overall following the Trojans for me is an escape a necessary distraction in my sometimes chaotic and muddled life. It's a constant that keeps me grounded and for that I thank the Team and the University and I will forever be a fan and continue to Fight ON!
Thanks for becoming a fan. I don't write anymore (long story) but I do share my thoughts in many of the USC related articles on B/R.
I love the fact that you became a Trojan fan while living in Florida. I also appreciate your service in the Army.