TAMPA, Fla. –
During a visit to his hometown of Bradenton, Florida, Maj. Gen. Kenneth Kamper, commanding general of the Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill, Oklahoma, expected to meet with the mayor and talk to young JROTC students about Army opportunities. He got more than he bargained for though when he was approached by an Army veteran passionate about rejoining the Army.
Tahj Porter, an Army veteran, noticed Kamper and several of his Soldiers on their way to speak to JRTOC students pass by his workplace.
“I made a promise to myself that if they walked by a second time that I would go out and talk to them,” Porter said. “After leaving the Army, I found that I missed the challenges and discipline of service. I enjoyed learning from my senior NCOs and battle buddies.”
When Kamper and his team passed by his office again, Porter saw this as a clear sign that now was the time for him to consider getting back into the Army.
After speaking to Kamper, Porter reached out to a local recruiting station and enlisted as a signal support systems specialist.
Soon after enlisting, Porter shipped to Fort Jackson, South Carolina to repeat Basic Combat Training, a step many former Soldiers who have a break in service of more than three years must complete.
Kamper’s original intent for visiting his hometown was to reconnect with the Bradenton community and inspire the next generation to answer the call the service and this is exactly what happened when he met Porter, inspiring him to rejoin the Army.
“American Soldiers have spent nearly 250 years defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic,” Kamper said. “Our freedom is dependent on those who dedicate their lives to protect it and I thank all of have made the decision to serve.”