“I joined the army right out of high school,” wrote Tim Giroux in a recent email.
“My original reason was to get money for college, but after being in for a couple of years, I started to like it. I started with basic training, infantry AIT, Airborne School and the Ranger Indoctrination program. I chose Rangers because of the video they showed at the recruiting office. I really had no idea what I was getting into.”
Schoolmates might remember that Tim always wore glasses but doesn’t now.
“Having glasses wasn’t a restriction for Ranger school, but I lost them in basic training and just went without them. My eyesight was never bad, but I had a lazy eye that got better without the glasses,” he said.
“My first duty station was the 1st Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment at Hunter Army Air Field in Savannah, Ga.,” Giroux continued, “I was transferred to the 2nd Battalion 7th Infantry at Ft. Stewart, Ga., where I started as a Bradley (Fighting Vehicle) driver, then moved to gunner after a few months. In June of 1990, I went to Special Forces Assessment and Selection. Four hundred and fifty men started the course, 190 finished and 150 of us were chosen.
“I fought in Desert Storm as a Bradley gunner, and was there from August 1990 to March 1991. I spent my 21st birthday in a country that banned alcohol.”
After returning from the war, Tim went to Ft. Bragg, N.C.
“I attended the Special Forces Qualification Course. After I graduated from the SFQC and earned my green beret in May 1992, I transferred to the 5th Special Forces Group at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. While there, I served on ODA’s 514 and 516 (Operational Detachment Alpha) or “A-Teams” as they are called in TV and movies,” he said.
In September of 1995, Tim was on a HALO (high altitude, low opening) exercise in which he was paralyzed. He jumped out of the airplane at about 24,500 feet, his highest jump so far.
“It was a mid-air collision at about 10,000 feet. There is a device that will open the chute at about 4,000 feet if you don’t do it yourself. I don’t remember the collision. I woke up being dragged across the desert and had to pull my chute to me to collapse it,” Giroux said.
He was discharged in January 1996.
“After getting out, I went back to school and received my bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Tyler. I am currently retired. After college I attempted to find a new career but nothing worked out. I know people have horror stories about the VA (Veteran’s Administration,) but they are taking very good care of me.”
Giroux now lives in Flint, Texas, with his dog Milla.
“When I got out of the military I didn’t want to move back to Granville. It’s too small of a town, and the winters are too cold. Wheelchairs and snow don’t mix, so anywhere up north was out of the question. Texas is very military friendly, and Dallas is only two hours away so I can go see my Cowboys play when I want. Texas also has no income or property tax for veterans with 100 percent service-connected disability. All of my duty stations were in the south, so I have been a southerner since high school. I really like the people and am like-minded in many ways. So all worked out for the best,” he said.
Giroux keeps busy with several hobbies.
I enjoy working on my hot rod – a 1993 SSP Mustang – and helping out a friend at his automotive performance shop, going to the shooting range, and repairing various electronics,” he said.
“I get back to Granville when I can, at least every year or two. I have more family to visit when I’m home to even think of at the moment, and every time I come home it seems there are more of them. As for friends I visit, there are many, but I make it a special point to see Chip Vanderminden and Dave Williams.”