Inside The Gates: A civilian's life overseas

Inside The Gates: A civilian's life overseas

Eric Aubrey has spent most of his career outside the gates...way outside.
Eric Aubrey has spent most of his career outside the gates...way outside.

"Since 2004 I've been deployed at least part of every year," Aubrey says. "From 2004 to 2014,"

And although Aubrey spends his time on military bases overseas, he's no soldier.  Aubrey is a project manager for the Army Corps of Engineers.

"Seven out of my eight assignments was working and supporting the Afghan National Army," Aubrey says. "They range from literally building a brand new base for 5000 troops out in the middle of the desert, training schools, hospitals, military ranges, everything that our U.S. Army would have."

The crews work 12 to 14 hour days, seven days a week. And while Aubrey says the money is good, it comes at a price.

"There's kind of a trade off because you're in a lot less civil conditions," Aubrey says. "It's hardship...there's danger over there."

Danger, like Aubrey's first deployment to Iraq, in 2004.

"I was in the green zone in Iraq and at that time it was still, even though it was considered kind of a safe zone, we'd get mortared and rocketed on a regular basis," Aubrey says. "So it wasn't totally safe."

And those safety concerns are something that weigh on the minds of his family.  He's single, but he says his brothers and sisters sometimes worry.

"After awhile I think they thought something was wrong with me," Aubrey says. " It was like, why do you keep going back?"

Something that a lot of people may wonder, after eight deployments in ten years.

"I don't know, it's something that I think gets in your blood," Aubrey says.

Aubrey says it's the people, the bonds that are formed, that mean so much. but, there's something else, too.

"You feel like you're doing something positive for the country," Aubrey says. "You're supporting the Corps of Engineers number one priority, and it feels good."
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