Veterans Day: Dwayne Hall's Story

Morgan Hall

The Ashland Beacon

     As a junior in high school, Hall decided that he wanted to enlist in the military, following the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. He met with Army recruiters Sergeant First Class Lee Blevins and Sergeant First Class Charles Smith, who helped him transition into enlisting in the United States Army Reserves. Hall enlisted while he was still a junior at Paul Blazer High School and he completed his drill work on the weekends. Hall was already enrolled in the Ashland JROTC at that time and was ranked Cadet Major. "The reason I joined-it was right after 9/11, I believe it was in October. I approached my Army recruiter Sergeant Lee Blevins and I took the ASVAB. In November, I turned 17 and I joined the Army," explained Hall.

     Hall recalls his parents' reactions, " My Dad was fine with it, my Mom took a little more convincing-but she eventually came around. Sergeant Blevins discussed with my Mom about the opportunities for college and training and she eventually got on board." Like many parents, it's a sobering thought to have your child join the military but especially during a time of war. Nonetheless, Hall was ready to serve his country. His family's support of his enlisting meant the world to him. 

      Hall's MOS was 89-Bravo, Ammunition Specialists. "After you take the ASVAB they take you down to Beckley, West Virginia which is the Military Entrance Processing Station also known as MEPS, you sit in with a career counselor and they go over the available jobs. At that time, there were only three jobs that I could pick from:  Combat Engineer, Cook, and Ammunition Specialist," added Hall. 

        Like most jobs, there are good days and bad days. Hall emphasizes his favorite part of joining the military, "Being fresh out of high school, I never would have left the tri-state area. The Army took me to many places I never would have gotten to see. I especially appreciate the friendships that were made along the way. I still keep in contact with folks that I served with in the Army."

     Hall described deployment away from home, "My first deployment was to Fort Stewart Georgia. Then from Georgia, I went on to Fort Irwin California. During the annual training year in 2008, we went to Miesau, Germany for about a month. It was a different and unique experience that I got to go, during my off hours I was able to go sightseeing and visit the countryside." Hall's love for travel didn't stop when he left the military, road trips and family vacations are a priority to him and his family. 

     Every veteran has their way of celebrating veterans day and Hall is no different. " A couple of veteran friends that I found after the Army, we go out to eat together on Veterans Day and usually spend the day joking and cutting up with each other and sharing stories." It's a time-honored tradition for Hall to spend time with his brothers in arms. 

        Many veterans are asked, 'If you could do it all over again, would you?' Hall doesn't hesitate to respond, "Yes! I would have still chosen the Army, even though I have great respect for the different branches and how they operate. Each branch is unique and has a different mission."

      Like many folks that join the service, Hall has mentors that he met while serving and once getting out of the service. "When I first enlisted SFC. Smith and SFC. Blevins were my biggest influences, I grew very close to them," shared Hall. Hall has fond memories of working in the recruiting office with both Smith and Blevins. Blevins was his best man at his wedding.

      All good things come to an end. After 8 years of serving his country, Hall decided not to renew his contract with the US Army in December 2009, as he discovered that both he and his wife were expecting a baby boy. 

     Hall has five siblings and two step-siblings. Hall's Step-Father Retired from the Army National Guard as a Sergeant First Class, and his youngest brother recently joined the Army National Guard. Hall shared his sentiments regarding his baby brother joining the Army National Guard right out of high school, "He will excel well, he's a good kid. He has a good head on his shoulders, he might make a career out of it." Hall is the oldest child and Cody Goody is his youngest sibling. Hall was in high school when his brother was born, so they share a special bond. 

     Hall met one of his best friends Richard 'Bird Dog' Vanhoose in the Fall of 2007 when he attended an infectious diseases training class. Hall is one of Vanhoose's lead instructors at EMTAS, Inc. They can often be found having breakfast together at the Cannonsburg Waffle House. Hall enjoys listening to all the stories that Vanhoose has to share about his time in the military and his tours in Vietnam. Hall elaborates, "Even though I am a veteran, I don't consider myself as one. There are all kinds of veterans that have served like WWII Veterans, Korean War Veterans, and Vietnam Veterans. I believe the recognition is due to them." 

      Hall has spent 18 years in Law Enforcement in many different jobs and capacities. He currently is a federal police officer working dispatch at the Huntington Veterans Hospital. He's also the Chief Deputy Constable for Boyd County District 2. Hall has dedicated his life to serving others and continues to remain humble in his efforts. 

Photo: Morgan Hall

Photo: Dwayne Hall as Private

Photo: Morgan Hall

Photo:  SGT. Gordon and SPC. Hall Fort Irwin California 

Photo: Morgan Hall

Photo: Dwayne Hall 

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