by: Angela Brauer
NOBLESVILLE, Ind.– A local veteran is on a new mission these days to help student veterans and those who are struggling after serving our country.
Dave Closson grew up always wanting to serve. His father, a retired sergeant major and airborne ranger, served in Vietnam.
“He is just a walking, talking excellent role model. A man of integrity, and family man,” Closson said. “Growing up, I always wanted to be just like my dad.”
Closson joined the service at a young age. He joined the Illinois Army National Guard.
“I thought I could have the best of both worlds. I could serve and do all the fun Army stuff I knew I would love, but I could also have a civilian life,” he explained.
Closson was deployed during his junior year of college. He went overseas and fought as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During his first week there, Closson said he was driving a Humvee when he and his fellow soldiers were hit with an IED.
“All of a sudden, I heard this just loud explosion and everything went black and I felt my body being thrown to the right,” Closson recalled. “The sound is kind of hard to describe, but it reminded me of a slow glass breaking. Finally, things started to appear and the truck was full of dust. The windows were shattered. Both of my tires on the driver’s side were flat. We were still trying to orient ourselves, like what just happened? We realized, ‘Hey, we just got blown up, we need to get out of the area in case it’s an ambush.’ So we pushed on and got on the radio, and started checking on everyone in the truck.”
Physically, Closson was ok. He said mentally and emotionally, he had prepared himself for the worst.
“But you can only prepare yourself so much for being blown up,” he said.