Veteran of the Day graphic created by Emma Catlett for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Air Force Technical Sergeant Andrew James Chier. Andrew has been serving in the Air National Guard since 2000.
Andrew Chier is a San Diego native and the son of an Army Veteran. In the late 1990’s, Chier graduated from Wyoming Technical Institute, but after a number of years as a mechanic, he felt called to serve in the military. In 2000, he joined the Texas Air National Guard’s 451st Logistics Readiness Squadron and 273rd Engineering Installation Squadron. From there, he completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, then served with the 147th Fighter Wing in Houston.
Following the September 11th attacks, Chier moved onto an active duty role. In 2005, he deployed to New Orleans to assist with recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina. There, he guarded businesses from looting, and provided security on the convention center which was being used as a shelter for thousands of citizens.
While Chier was working on a bachelor’s degree at Texas A&M University, he received orders to deploy to Iraq. In February 2007, he was sent to Balad Air Force Base as a vehicle operator. In addition to his duties at the base, Chier volunteered his time in the trauma center in Balad, which was also the main trauma unit in Iraq. There, he helped with the transport of patients into the hospital to receive medical attention, as well as the airlift of wounded service members out of Iraq to hospitals in Germany. Among the many challenges he faced, a personal difficulty he had to deal with was being a gay soldier during the era of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.
In early 2008, after months of being home from deployment, Chier was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, an illness in which the immune system attacks the nervous system. Despite severe temporary ailments, he recovered and moved to Washington D.C. with his civilian employer, and maintained his status in the military by working as an aerial porter moving cargo at Andrews Air Force Base. In 2012, he deployed Kandahar Air Force Base, Afghanistan.
Following this deployment, Chier returned home to Dallas where his civilian company had relocated. He is currently a technical sergeant and works as a vehicle operator at Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, La.
Thank you for your service, Andrew!
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
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Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Graphic designer: Emma Catlett
Editor: Kaylee Hogsed
Fact Checker: Kat Blanchard