Central Texas Heroes: Terry Fountain

WACO, Texas (KWTX) For one local veteran military service truly was a family affair.

Veteran Terry Fountain

He entered the Army with his twin brother, met his wife while he was serving, and his daughter will soon be stationed at Fort Hood too.

Terry Fountain explains what he experienced and the unique struggles families with multiple service members have to face.

Terry Fountain and his twin brother Gary were the last two of 11 children starting basic training at the same time in January 1978.

Terry says he served with very few other African American soldiers.

"We looked at the Army as the challenge, not people," he said, "if I get education, if I become a Ranger, if I become a drill sergeant, you can't deny me because my records speak themseves."

And Fountain's record speaks volumes.

He started as a telecommunications specialist.

He said, "we would get information and pass it on to the commander. Some of it was secret so there were codes and things we had to know."

And then he became a chemical specialist along with his brother.

"We're the ones that advise the commander of any kind of contamination are a soldier may have to encounter or go through," he said, "we teach them how to wear their chemical equipment."

He remained in the military for decades and his service included deployments overseas in Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield.

Fountain said, "it was pretty difficult because the unit I was in was one of those rapid deployments so you couldn't even speak to your family until 18 hours after."

They focused on their goal of preparing for any type of chemical attack from above.

"Scuds went up, we put on our protective masks every time the horn went off, but no one actually got contaminated," he explained.

At that point he was a family man himself, and with a lack of communication there were struggles managing the job overseas and life back home.

"Motivating soldiers to want to be there, worring about what was going on with their families back home because of communication," Fountain said, "all of them made it home back to their loved ones."

That was not the case for him and his fellow soldiers after 9-11.

As Command Sergeant Major of the 2nd Chemical Battalion, he went to Iraq with a similar job in 2003.

But from 2006 to 2008 when he was in charge of getting valuable supplies from place to place, he lost men he knew and loved.

"We'd have 200 to 500 trucks on the road every night," he said.

Convoys frequently came under attack.

"We lost soldiers during those periods," he said, "none of those soldiers lives were in vain."

Terry Fountain eventually ended up at Fort Hood and retired in 2009.

He dedicated 31 years to military service for the country he loves, one of two brothers who answered America's call together.