My Veteran Rocks Award goes to Jerid Hilderbrand
James Oates

My Veteran Rocks Award goes to Jerid Hilderbrand

Presented by Pacific Steel & Recycling

Jerid Hildebrand joined the US military, after high school. Joining the Military was always something he had considered but that thought became a decision after the events of 9/11. Like so many the direction of his life was altered on that day. Jerid was attached to the First Tank Battalion in the United States Marines as a Logistics Vehicle System operator, “Which is a fancy term for a military big rig.” Jerid said this unit felt like home to him. 


Jerid was deployed with the 1st Tank battalion to Kuwait, “I remember getting to Kuwait City and it was dark. We made our way up to the camp that we were going to be staying at and in the morning, I was excited to see what Kuwait looked like. As you can imagine it was pretty shocking (and a huge let down) it’s like you go to the beach and hold your head to the sand. That what Kuwait looks like.”  When speaking about his Military deployments Jerid said, “The experience is something I would never give back. There are a few things I would do a little differently.” As with all journeys in life it comes with its highs and lows, when speaking of the highs and lows of his time in the marines he had this to say, “ There was a meme that I saw not long ago that said “here is to the nights I won’t remember; with the guys I’ll never forget” that would be the highs. The lows would be losing friends. That’s always something that causes long lasting grief.”    


Jerid is a true hero, along with all the young men and women that joined the armed forces to serve and protect this country. When looking back on his last days on active duty Jerid said, “that time in history was a particularly rough time. The deployments were never ending, roadside bombs were taking a toll on everyone, and I figured I had enough of driving around waiting to get blown up.”  Although Jerid would no longer be serving his country and community as a Marine he was not done protecting and caring for others. His lessons and character built as a marine is now applied as a Firefighter Paramedic. When reflecting on how his time in service effects his life today Jerid had this to say, “it gives you a better perspective on the big picture. No matter how down life seems it could always be worse.”   Its people like Jerid that truly make this country great. During these hard times we look once again to our heroes to show us that things are not as bad as it seems, we will come back stronger and more united. Jerids parting words to any and all considering joining the armed forces are these, “You’re becoming part of something much bigger than yourself. The integrity of a nation is counting on you, and that just by joining you become a part of the history or our great country.”   


On behalf of our Sponsor, Pacific Steel & Recycling, we Thank Jerid Hilderbrand for his service and Courage and wish him all the best. 

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