Clifton Reed encourages other veterans to give back to their communities

Hometown Heroes

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) Clifton Reed knew the Army was his calling when he enlisted in 2015, after growing up in St. Louis, Missouri.

“I grew up in a bad environment,” he said. “When I got to the military, they break you down and they rebuild you up into a completely new person. [I] wanted to go into the Army to change my life for a better future.

“My job in the Army was 13 Fox, which is forward observer, or in the military they call us Fisters,” Reed said.

Clifton would be sent to Afghanistan shortly after basic training for a nine-month tour.

“Our mission was Operation Freedom Sentinel and pretty much we were there to support, aide and assist the Afghani’s,” he said. “We had a call sign called ‘Irene.’ Pretty much if we heard the call sign Irene, or we hear an alarm going off or anything, that meant the aircraft went down -whether it be a predator drone, Blackhawk or Chinook. Then we recovered this downed aircraft.”

Clifton got out after three years of service. He then moved to Green Bay in 2018 to take up carpentry, a move he hopes inspires his family.

“My goal wasn’t to leave my past life and run away from it,” he said. “It was to go out, step outside the box and do something different. Go out into the world and become something so I can come back home and show my brother and my siblings the same route I took. Show them hey, you can do this too. I always had a hungry to be something better, and I’ll always encourage everybody to have ambition.”

Now he’s hungry to continue to give back. The 24-year-old wants to start up a program where military members volunteer their time to give back on american soil..

“Soldiers, sailors, airmen or Marines should come together, make our own volunteer group, and I think we should give back to America and give a different image of American military,” he said. “Something to give back to show that this uniform is more than just going to fight wars. I’m still an American citizen, I want to give back.

“I feel people would love it if they see American uniforms on the street right now cleaning up trash, or American uniforms on the street feeding someone with the homeless, or American uniforms on the street building a house or just walking around in the community. [I want to see them] getting involved more instead of just being stuck on a base or stuck in a foreign country.”

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