The Military View Column: Civilian and a Military Career


The Military View Column, By Heath resident Jerry Hogan, US Army Lt. Col (ret.)

Michael Shupak, formerly of Forney and now living in Rockwall, graduated from South Garland High School in 2000. In 2002 he went to work for the State of Texas and became a correctional officer in the Texas prison system. In 2004 he joined the USMC reserves.

According to him, “I wanted to immediately go on active duty, but the billet I was slated for was filled and I had to first go in the Reserves.” Since then he has managed to balance two different careers, one military and one civilian. He has been successful in both.

Michael first deployed to Iraq in 2006 where he was assigned with his unit to the bloody Al Anbar Province. Returning it was then back to his civilian job at the Coffield prison unit in Tennessee Colony, Texas.

Two short years there and then it was another deployment, this time to Afghanistan. He returned in August of this year and is still on active duty until January of next year when he will then return to his civilian job. And as he puts it, “I have the utmost respect for all the people serving right beside me in the armed forces. We all play a special part in the war on terrorism and there is not much difference between one in the reserves and one of active duty…we all are Marines, we all do the same job, we all were trained the same, and we all know our basic job of being a rifleman and fighting the enemy.”

He continued with, “After being on two deployments, I have seen some funny things and some things that still give me nightmares. I was driving a vehicle that was hit with an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). While none of us were hurt badly, just the experience of this happening continues to bother me. I have seen body bags containing dead Iraqis and vehicles of ours that were covered in blood from other Marines. All of this affects us but we are a close bunch and we treat each other like family. We play jokes on one another and laugh and cut up but we also know that we are likely to be wounded or killed at any time. That’s why we consider each other as brothers and sisters and why we would do anything for each other and back each other 100%.”

I asked Michael his future plans and he responded, “I have a little over two years left on my enlistment and I have not decided whether to stay in. The State of Texas has been great with supporting me while I was on active duty and I really love the Marine Corps life style. It is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I am just going to see where it all leads in two more years. I know that some people don’t support what we are doing, but it is what we were trained for and frankly, we are the best in the world. I will do it again with no questions asked just so my family and friends are safe and out of harm’s way.”

Here is another of our local heroes who is balancing both a civilian and a military career. Please tell him and his buddies thanks for what they do for us.

Jerry Hogan is a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel who volunteers to write this article. He can be reached at jerryhogan@sbcglobal.net or 214-394-4033.

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1 Response for “The Military View Column: Civilian and a Military Career”

  1. KDF says:

    I just love how you put Michael Shupak on a pedestal like he’s a God. I bet none of you know how much of a cold hearted man he really is. Why dont you ask him about the girl he got pregnant in March 2006. Ask him what he told that girl when she came to him to let him know? He told me that he was going to be shipped overseas, and that baby wasnt his problem. Ask him how much grief he caused me, and how I begged and pleaded him to help me with this child and he told me once again this was MY problem and not his! He wanted no part of that kid or of me. Why dont you interview him on the bad things he has done and stop commending him on the few good things he has done. I have a lot of dirt on this man!

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