GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Jeffrey Brown was in college when he enlisted in the Army. He told 7NEWS his grades weren’t the best and he needed a new path.

“My family’s got a very long military history going all the way back to the revolution,” said Brown.

Aspiring to be like his dad who served two tours in Vietnam, Brown wanted to be a paratrooper.

“I wanted to go to airborne school, learn how to fall out of airplanes, and be a paratrooper,” Brown explained. “I was always drawn to the history of the 82nd Airborne Division.”

He ended up spending sixteen out of his thirty-year career there.

“I graduated basic training in 84, was shipped to Berlin, Germany, where I served as a member of an infantry scout platoon and where one of our primary missions was patrolling the Berlin wall,” said Brown.

After Berlin, Brown went back to the States to become an instructor.

“And then from there I was stationed at Panmunjom, Korea on the DMZ for a year, conducting ambush and recon patrols inside the DMZ,” he added.

After that, Brown finally made it to the 82nd Airborne.

“And almost immediately, we were deployed to Saudi Arabia for Desert Shield and Desert Storm,” said Brown.

Brown held back tears describing the support he received from Americans upon returning home from that tour.

“So as I’m walking through the tramway to get to the airport, the first thing I hear is Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born In The U.S.A.’, I come around the corner and there’s a color guard to Vietnam veterans,” said Brown.

He said the experience was like winning the Super Bowl.

“To have that support of the family and the American people was just incredible,” he shared.

Brown’s career continued from there taking him back to Korea, then to Iraq, and Afghanistan.

“Then about that time, I was I was promoted to Command Sergeant Major and was rotated to Fort Knox to take over battalion there,” Brown said. “So that ended my wartime service.”

After retiring in 2011, Brown taught R.O.T.C. at Greenwood High School.

Then he got involved with Vets Helping Vets in Greenville.

“Their purpose in life is to serve support and solve the veterans issues in the community,” said Brown.

This coming January, Brown will transition into his new role with the chapter as President.

Congratulations Jeffrey Brown, and Thank You for Your Service.

To nominate a veteran to be featured in our Thank You for Your Service series, click here.