Oklahoma guardsman experiences first deployment in Afghanistan
BY U.S. ARMY SPC. LESLIE GOBLE Task Force Thunderbird Public Affairs
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
10/28/11 at 12:27 PM
BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Joining the military during a time of war is a hard
decision for anyone. But despite U.S. forces being deployed to Iraq and
Afghanistan for most of his life, Spc. Josh J. Arias of Canton,
decided it was the choice for him.
"I knew from when I was a kid I wanted to join the military," said Arias,
grenadier for Oklahoma-based Company B, 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry, 45th Infantry Brigade
Combat Team. "Everyone from my home town knew I wanted to join the military."
Arias is currently on his first deployment since he joined the Oklahoma Army
National Guard right out of Canton High School at the age of 17.
At home, Arias is a student at Southwestern Oklahoma State University at Weatherford where he is working his way toward a law degree. In his free time, he likes hog
hunting and fishing.
"I'm from a lake town so I enjoy being outdoors," said Arias.
"I figure when I get back I can finish up school, or I can do what I do full
time," Arias said referencing his desire to go active duty. "If I do that,
I'll put my 20 years in and be done by 37 or 38 since I joined when I was
"I think that if I stay with the military, I'll have plenty of time to get a
degree," said Arias.
Arias said he has big aspirations for his military career. He has set his
sights on joining the Special Forces. This deployment could very well give
Arias the experience needed to make a career decision.
"I've wanted to join the Special Forces for a long time now," said Arias.
"I knew that Arias was a great soldier because he is always willing to
learn," said Sgt. Wes Banks a team leader in Company B, 1st Battalion, 179th
Infantry. "When they were handing out school assignment he volunteered for
just about everyone."
Arias completed every school he volunteered for, including a 200-hour Dari
class. Dari is the predominant language of Afghanistan.
Spc. Josh J. Arias from Canton is a member of Company B, 1stBattalion, 179th Infantry Regiment.,45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 45thInfantry Division, Task Force Thunderbird. He dons his improved outertactical vest for a mission in eastern Afghanistan. SPC. LESLIE GOBLE Task Force Thunderbird Public Affairs
Spc. Josh J. Arias is on his first deployment in eastern Afghanistan. SPC. LESLIE GOBLE Task Force Thunderbird Public Affairs
Spc. Josh J. Arias poses for a picture in front of a Mine Resistant AmbushProtected vehicle. SPC. LESLIE GOBLE Task Force Thunderbird Public Affairs