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Coming Home

By Lisa Moorhouse, CHS, Inc

Skills learned in the military often transfer to the rural workforce.
In 2003, Army combat engineer Mike Tangen found himself in the Kuwait desert training for Operation Enduring Freedom. When the “go” signal came in the form of 36 overhead artillery shots, the troops and Apache helicopters headed out in long convoys across the Iraq border.

“The convoy moved so slowly,” Tangen recalls. “I felt like we were hundreds of miles from the border and just crawling. There were some nerve-wracking parts, especially when we went through a narrow pass where there was supposed to be an ambush.”

While there was a firefight, they made it to the border relatively untouched. They punched through sand berms surrounding the country and advanced on Baghdad.

Tangen’s job in the U.S. Army focused on designing battlefields. His skills didn’t seem likely to transfer to a career back home in central Minnesota. After returning to the States in 2003, he purchased a small herd of cattle and later went to work for an area farmer, spending much of his time as a long-haul trucker.



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